Rotana plans
news channel

DUBAI — Rotana is studying the launch of a news channel with or without the cooperation of News Corporation — founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Yousef Al Mugharbil, chairman, Rotana Digital Media, told Khaleej Times.

By Mary Nammour

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Published: Sat 15 May 2010, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:40 PM

“News Corps holds 9.09 per cent stake in Rotana, valued at $70 million. They are also eyeing the option of buying a new share. But that is it so far,” Mougharbel said.

He pointed out that the chairman of Rotana, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, announced about two weeks ago that they are studying the launch of the news channel. “We are not bringing in a giant to bring about a change in the way we run news but rather to enrich our experience,” stressed Mugharbil. “The new cooperation would make it possible to reach out to the Arab diaspora estimated at about 50 million people worldwide.

“Just as some television channels are acquiring content from Disney to enrich the content quality and diversify the targeted audiences, we will be cooperating with News Corps. We will add their expertise to ours to enhance our product”.

In the midst of the ever-widening digital media market, formation of alliances has imposed itself as a necessity for media firms in order to catch up with the speedy pace of digital media development, stressed Mougharbil.

“There has been a major challenge for the televisions and other medias facing stiff competition from many entities. Under the market rule, when there is a wide range of offers, prices come down and so does the profitability. From here originates a growing necessity for firms to come up with creative and innovative projects and ideas to keep the enjoying the loyalty of audiences and bring in new ones to stay the course.”

“Rotana Digital Media has a main concern in the digital revolution which is to keep up the good competition while offering the best content and services”.

Dr Samy Abdel Aziz, Chairman of TBWA/Egypt, remarked on the launch of the upcoming news channel. He shed some doubts about the necessity and the need to bring in media giants such as Murdoch into the region. “We don’t need him. There is huge capital in the Arab countries and we are more capable of doing investments in this field.”

He asked Mougharbel (whose name in Arabic means ‘to sort out’) whether they would be able to sort out the materials brought forward by the upcoming new media venture. “Do we invest to go to the mayhem (edge) by discarding our own values and get absorbed in the western culture or we shape the media in our own way to convey our own sorted out content to the masses?,” Abdel Aziz said. mary@khaleejtimes.com



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