x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sky promises all news that's fit to air when in launches in Abu Dhabi

Media Summit special: Arabic news content reaches for Sky for a new 24-hour service.

James Murdoch is one of this week's key speakers at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
James Murdoch is one of this week's key speakers at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

The Arabic-language news station being launched under the Sky News brand will be impartial in its editorial coverage, the station's news director says.

The 24-hour channel based in Abu Dhabi is set to launch in spring next year.

It is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation (Admic), a private investment company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), which operates Sky News.

"Sky News and Admic are committed to launching a genuinely independent, impartial news organisation," says Nart Bouran, who has been appointed the station's director of news.

"We don't have to take sides on any of these stories. Our mandate is pretty clear: a news story is a news story."

The channel will enter a regional TV news market dominated by Al Arabiya, which is part of the Saudi-owned MBC Group, and Al Jazeera, which is backed by Qatar.

While Mr Bouran acknowledges the achievements of those channels, he says his Sky News channel will partly distinguish itself through its use of mobile and online.

He says the station will have "a multi-platform approach that will bring something new and fresh to the region".

Mr Bouran was formerly the director of television for the Reuters news agency and the director of news for Abu Dhabi TV, where he worked on the coverage of the Second Gulf War in 2003.

During his career he also covered stories in countries including Algeria, Libya and Yemen.

Sky's Arabic-language station will feature the Sky News brand and will be broadcast for free across the Mena region.

It will be supported by advertising, with a sales team based in Abu Dhabi.

Dr Sultan al Jaber, the chairman of Admic and of the new venture, said last year that the "new channel will be an important, independent voice for the Arab world."