x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

More Arabic TV choice

The new year promises a bevy of premieres and exclusive programs from some of the region's newest television channels.

An OSN New Year

Arabic-speaking viewers content to stay at home during the new year will have plenty of TV choice as OSN launches five new channels.

The channel will have something for everyone with programmes for youth, housewives, adrenalin seekers, the curious and foodies.

"This is an exciting time for OSN," said the chief executive David Butorac. "We are incredibly proud of the new channel line-up which promises to bring unparalleled exclusive content to the region."

OSN Ya Hala Shabab HD will focus on the youth and "the young at heart".

The channel will be marked by edgy programmes with boundary-pushing dramas and Friday night film premieres of Arabic films within weeks of their cinema release. Flagship shows include Khalad Alsawi's new Egyptian drama Alakaf Street.

Tele-novella fans will get their regular dose of Latino romance via OSN Ya Hala Arabella HD, the first channel in the region dedicated to screening back-to-back Mexican dramas dubbed in Arabic.

It will be the home of the popular series Kayd Imra'ah and the whimsical Asirat Al Hob. Discovery World will focus on documentaries and factual programming in the form of American Medical Stories, while Fuel TV is for the action junkies from skateboarding and surfing to BMX and Motocross.

Those with more sophisticated tastes can lounge with Fine Living, a channel that focuses on the latest trends from food and fashion to lifestyle gurus. Visit www.osn.com

MBC Masr

With OSN's new channels featuring a bevy of Egyptian dramas, it will have to fight for viewers with MBC's latest channel MBC Masr.

Launched in October, the free-to-air channel is a mixed bag of exclusive drama series, topical talk shows, variety programming and, of course, the latest wrestling action from the WWE. Mazen Hayek, MBC Group's spokesman, said the channel will help revitalise the Egyptian entertainment industry.

"We are keen on working together to further progress the Egyptian media scene and raise standards of local entertainment content to international standards," he said.

"We have many promising projects, the good will to cooperate with all and are keen to highlight media faces." One of the key figures in the fledgling channel is Mona Al Shazly.

The well-respected media figure helms her own talk show, Joumla Mufeedah, while Comedy Night by the popular funny man Hani Ramzy is similar to The Late Show with Jay Leno.

Visit www.mbc.net.


Zee Alwan

You know Bollywood is serious business in the Arab world when one of India's leading television network launches another channel dedicated to the region.

Zee Alwan is a channel dedicated to showcasing the latest television serials coming from India. Launched by the Zee Entertainment Enterprise LLC in July, the channel arrived on the back of its Bollywood-focused Zee Aflam channel which launched four years ago.

The Zee Entertainment chief executive Mukund Cairae said the family values shared by both Indian and the Arab audiences shouldn't allow the plots to be lost in translation.

"The cultural context outlined in these popular serials will resonate with Arabic audiences," he said at the launch. "They are essentially about human values, family bonding, friendship and relationships." There is food, too. Zee Alwan is home to one of India's popular cooking programmes Kunooz Kazana.

Sky News Arabia

With the region undergoing such seismic social and political changes, it is not surprising British Sky Broadcasting, home to the UK news channel Sky News, thought it was a good idea to launch an Arabic equivalent.

A joint venture with Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp, the free-to-air channel (and in high definition format for OSN subscribers) hit the ground running in April reporting from Syria and other hot spots in the region. The channel's news studios are based in Abu Dhabi.

"The Sky News Arabia idea was born more than two years ago," said the channel head Nart Bouran at the April launch. "Our aim has been to create an impartial and independent breaking news channel for the Arab world across multiple platforms."

Visit www.skynewsarabia.com.