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Mon 29 Nov 2010 04:10 PM

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BSkyB forms venture with Abu Dhabi for Arabic TV news channel

British channel to run under the Sky News brand from Abu Dhabi; will start broadcasting in 2012

BSkyB forms venture with Abu Dhabi for Arabic TV news channel
\nThe service will compete with Arabic channels including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. (Bloomberg Images)\n

British Sky Broadcasting Group formed a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp to start an Arabic-language news service, its first foreign- language channel.

The 24-hour channel will run under the Sky News brand from Abu Dhabi and start broadcasting in 2012 to the Middle East and northern Africa, BSkyB said on Monday in a statement. Abu Dhabi Media is an investment company ran by HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of English soccer club Manchester City.

“The Middle East and North Africa is a highly attractive region for media investment and Abu Dhabi is an excellent location from which to enter this exciting marketplace,” BSkyB chairman James Murdoch said in the statement.

BSkyB already broadcasts Sky News in English in the Middle East. The company, which rejected a 7.8 billion-pound ($12.2bn) offer from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for the 61 percent of the broadcaster that News Corp doesn’t already own, is expanding the brand to gain viewers outside the UK.

The service will compete with Arabic channels including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. HRH Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who has a 7 percent stake in News Corp, will also start a news television channel “in the near future,” Kingdom Holding Co said in July.

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