ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi TV will launch a new channel, Plus One, in October, the nation's largest media group announced yesterday. Plus One was part of Abu Dhabi TV's push to become "the new media hub in the Middle East", said Karim Sarkis, the executive director of broadcast. New programmes are also coming to the Abu Dhabi Sports channel and Emirates Television channel. The broadcaster is the radio and television branch of the Government-funded Abu Dhabi Media Company, the owner and publisher of The National.
"We have a new, dynamic team with years of collective world-class experience in broadcast, publishing and digital media distribution and content," Mr Sarkis said. "The introduction of a new TV channel and richer programming is part of our strategy to lead the development of high-quality entertainment across the Arab world." Among the new programmes is the reality show Ton of Cash, created by the same Dutch television company behind the popular Big Brother reality series. Contestants must haul a suitcase stuffed with Dh1.5 million (US$408,373) across the deserts of the UAE and Oman.
A show produced in Lebanon, Min al Zero, would also air. Mr Sarkis said the programming changes were necessary to reflect "the huge social and cultural shifts taking place across the emirate". Ratings researchers revealed viewers wanted exciting programming, which the revamp would deliver, he said. "We are confident this landmark change to our broadcast offering will be well received," Mr Sarkis said.
Sameh Zaki, who handles public relations for Abu Dhabi TV, said: "The Plus One channel will run the same programmes as Abu Dhabi TV, but it will be one hour in advance to enable viewers during Ramadan to overcome time problems and see their favourite shows." Shows will be broadcast in Arabic. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org