By Vineetha Menon
Based in Dubai Media City, operations are scheduled to begin early next year
Saudi Telecom Company has entered a joint venture with Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) and Malaysian-based All Asia Networks (ASTRO) to set up a new company for content in the MENA region.
Based in Dubai Media City, the company will commence operations by early 2009 to acquire and manage content from providers around the world for Saudi Telecom customers.
According to Saud Al-Daweesh, president of Saudi Telecom, the company would provide religious, entertainment and educational content: “The content will provide using a diverse set of media including broadcast, television, text messages and web browsing,” reported Arab News.
It will draw on the experience of ASTRO, a key multimedia provider in Southeast Asia with knowledge of aggregation, management and production of TV content, and SRMG, an integrated publishing group with a strong media network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Telecom will be the majority shareholder investing 51% of the SR 280 million capital, with SRMG responsible for 20% and ASTRO holding a 29% share.
"After decades of success as the region's biggest 'paper' publisher, this revolutionary step takes SRMG to new and additional horizons and enables us to provide quality digital content to approximately 70 million people worldwide via a whole new platform," said Prince Faisal Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, chairman of SRMG, in a statement.