Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Sky News Arabia to expand with virtual reality, digital and content upgrades

New programmes for launch as well as augmented reality virtual news studio

Sky News Arabia plans to roll out content and digital upgrades as part of an expansion of its broadcast operations, it said on Saturday.

The expansion includes the launch of additional programmes, new presenter hires, adoption of pioneering broadcast technology and the creation of virtual news studios using augmented reality technology – a first in the Middle East and North Africa region, the TV station said.

The new line-up will also see a refreshed schedule going live seven days a week, in Sky News Arabia’s “biggest enhancements since the 2012 launch of the channel”, it added.

“These changes will help to bring the news to life, making our content more visually compelling and reflective of the fact that our viewers are increasingly consuming news online and want more live news coverage as it happens,” said Sky News Arabia’s head of news, Hani Abuayyash, in a statement.

Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between Sky plc and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation. The National newspaper is owned by IMI, which is a subsidiary of ADMIC.

Among the programmes to be launched are 'News Radar', presented by Fadila Soussi at 6pm, featuring analysis and discussion of the latest world news, and an enhanced version of ‘Timeline’ at midnight with a new host, Carolina Nassar, reviewing the day’s news using the latest virtual reality technologies.

A refreshed ‘Newsroom’ show will now run seven days a week at 10pm with Mohannad Al Khatib hosting guests, while a new-format ‘Morning Show’ will be introduced, presented by Nancy Tabet and Hani Ziade, and covering culture, music, food and fashion alongside current affairs, business and sports news.

An enhanced-format 'Evening Show' will run every weekday at 8pm presented by Faisal Huraiz and Majed Al Faresi and covering the Arabian Gulf. Sky News Arabia’s sports programme ‘Mala’eb’ will be broadcast from an augmented reality studio daily at 1.15am, using the latest in graphics technology to bring viewers close to the action.

Meanwhile, a new international news segment will be broadcast at 2am to target Arab speakers in North African countries and Western time zones, and an in-depth business bulletin presented by Lubna Bouza, business editor-in-chief of Business, will be broadcast three days a week.

The company will also launch a dedicated documentary unit, to offer viewers investigative stories from around the region. “The changes follow a record of impressive growth and will further cement Sky News Arabia’s position as the leading news channel in the UAE and one of the most-viewed channels in the Arab world,” the broadcaster said.

Updated: April 28, 2019 05:55 PM

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