By Andy Sambidge
UK media giant to launch high definition channel in distribution deal with Arabsat
BBC World News will be offered as a high definition (HD) feed across the Middle East for the first time from August 5.
The move comes as the UK media giant launches its international HD channel on Arabsat.
Arabsat will be the BBC's first distribution partner in the Middle East to offer the award winning news channel in HD, the BBC said in a statement.
"This deal will give Middle Eastern audiences the opportunity to watch in HD the BBC's on-going coverage of key global issues, as well as some of its best international news, documentaries, entertainment and arts programming," the statement said.
In January, BBC World News unveiled its new look, following a re-launch from the heart of the BBC Newsroom at Broadcasting House in central London.
Colin Lawrence, distribution director for BBC Global News Ltd, said: "We are pleased to be able to partner with Arabsat to launch BBC World News HD across the Middle East, bringing our audience closer to the news than ever before.
"BBC World News HD will showcase our commitment to impartial and high quality journalism, and will showcase our news programmes at their best."
Khalid Balkheyour, president & CEO of ARABSAT, added: "We are very proud of the long term partnership with BBC and value their confidence in ARABSAT. We are pleased to be the first satellite operator to bring BBC World News HD to its viewers in the region. Known for its professionalism and impartiality, the BBC enjoys a very good reputation and a wide range of viewers and followers in the Middle East ."
In April, BBC Worldwide said it had appointed a new executive vice-president to run operations in the Middle East.
Ian McDonough is responsible for running all of BBC Worldwide's businesses in the region.
Most arabic news channels are HD now.
BBC is running late.....most news channels in the region are in HD as also are most other channels. BBC should step-up its showcasing of being a new-leader rather than a follower!!