x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

ADMC, Arirang sign agreement to exchange TV programmes

ADMC sign a co-operation agreement with Arirang, the Korean global satellite broadcaster.

The Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) signed a co-operation agreement today with Arirang, the Korean global satellite broadcaster, to exchange programmes and possibly join forces on content in the future. The deal marks the third co-operation agreement for ADMC, which also has relationships to exchange cultural content with Spain and Japan. "It's a two-way co-operation, so we can exchange programming between the two channels," said Karim Sarkis, the chief executive of ADMC's broadcast group. "Also, if we want to do something in Korea, they will give us support on the ground, and if they want to make documentaries or let people in Korea know what's happening in the UAE, vice versa." The financial dimension of the deal would be determined on a "case by case basis", he said. Arirang is Korea's first English-language broadcasting network, launched by the Korean International Broadcasting Foundation in 1997. Today, it broadcasts 24 hours a day and reaches 62.6 million households in 188 countries. Programming ranges from news to shows about Korean cultural life. Chung Kuk-lok, the president and chief executive of Arirang, said the agreement was an extension of the economic ties that the UAE and South Korean had long held. "Korea has had a relationship with the Emirates since the 1980s," he said through a translator. "In the past, there was a lot of ties between the two countries with regard to economics, but not culturally. Right now, we'd really like to develop the cultural exchanges." Arirang launched an Arabic service in 2004 to be closer to the Arab region, and already has a co-operation agreement with Qatar. Its programmes can be seen via free-to-air satellite in the region on ArabSat 4B. Matt Lee, the broadcaster's senior manager for distribution and marketing, said the new agreement "will help us to expand our TV service worldwide". Edward Borgerding, the chief executive of ADMC - which is the owner and publisher of The National - said co-operation deals were important for strengthening alliances. "They develop cultural relationships with countries that are important to the UAE, and whose relationships we value," he said, adding that the programming exchanges with other countries "enhance our relationship with them, and enhance our society here as we learn about and have a greater understanding of them". khagey@thenational.ae