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Wed 14 Jul 2010 11:36 AM

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BSkyB in talks to launch Arabic news channel - FT

The service, based in Abu Dhabi, would be financed by private investor - source.

BSkyB in talks to launch Arabic news channel - FT
ROLLING NEWS: The 24-hour Arabic television news service would be based in Abu Dhabi, according to the report. (Getty Images)

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) is in negotiations with a wealthy Emirati to launch an Arabic rolling 24-hour television news service in Abu Dhabi, the Financial Times has reported.

The service, which would be launched under the Sky News name, would likely be largely financed by an unnamed private investor, with BSkyB providing expertise and personnel, the paper said.

It added the JV would probably not be with a government-owned entity, quoting an anonymous source close to the talks, who said: “Sky would not want to associate its brand with anything that was not independent and neutral.”

The venture would be 50-50 owned between BSkyB and the private investor, the paper said.

Should it take to the airwaves, the Arabic Sky News service would be competing in a crowded market: the region has  several 24-hour Arabic news channels, such as the BBC’s, Al Jazeera – which is owned by the Qatar government – and Al Arabiya, which has Saudi backing.

Recently, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns seven percent of Newscorp, said he would launch an Arabic 24 hours rolling news channel.  

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