EuroNews is to launch Arabic-language programming for the Middle East, following its successful tender at the European Union.
EuroNews won the European Commission’s tender, launched in June 2007, for an international news channel with the ability to produce and broadcast programming in Arabic, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. A service agreement between the channel and the Commission was signed in Brussels on 6 December 2007.
EuroNews already broadcasts in seven languages simultaneously (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish). Arabic will become EuroNews’s eighth fully-fledged language and the service will be launched by the channel’s newsroom in 2008.
In the coming months, EuroNews will recruit a team of 35 people who will work at EuroNews’ head office in Lyon, France. At the same time the channel will adapt its technical facilities (production, broadcasting and distribution) to host this new language version. The Arabic service will be broadcast across EuroNews’ entire network of 35 satellites, thus making the Arabic-service signal available worldwide. From the start of 2008, the channel’s sales teams will invite all cable, satellite, ADSL/broadband and mobile-phone operators worldwide to add the Arabic version of EuroNews to their offerings.
In launching an Arabic version, EuroNews will meet two objectives: to cater for Arabic-speaking Europeans and extend distribution of the channel to Arabic-speaking countries.
Philippe Cayla, Chairman & CEO of EuroNews, commented: “The addition of Arabic is a very important milestone in EuroNews’s multi-language strategy. With Arabic, the channel will be able to grow its audience among Arabic-speaking populations in Europe and in the Mediterranean basin. In Europe, the fact that EuroNews is available in Arabic will definitely help Arabic-speaking populations to better understand the framework of European policies and the issues at stake. In the Mediterranean basin and in the Arabic-speaking world in general where EuroNews already has a substantial audience for its English and French versions, the channel will be able to grow its audience very significantly and become the standard-setting international news channel. Television viewers already appreciate EuroNews’s clear, balanced approach to international news, especially Middle East events. EuroNews wishes and hopes that its Mediterranean shareholders in the Arab world (ENTV in Algeria, ERTU in Egypt, ERTT in Tunisia) will help to raise EuroNews’ profile in their respective countries, and that the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) will be able to extend this effort to the other countries in the Arab world.”