Sky News Arabia, the Abu Dhabi-based 24 hour rolling news network, secured comprehensive distribution for its successful multi-platform launch on 6th May, 2012, once again raising the bar for broadcasters in the region. While many broadcasters have migrated to new platforms on an ongoing basis, Sky is the first in the region (and among the first in the world) to launch with such a comprehensive degree of accessibility across the platform board. As the first regional news network to launch simultaneously across four media platforms – television, online, tablet and mobile – securing distribution on appropriate platforms was crucial to the launch strategy.
The distribution strategy was devised and developed with the assistance of ChannelSculptor, the UAE-based strategic media consultancy and service provider.
Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia, said: “The key differentiator of Sky News Arabia is that we deliver the news our viewers want, when they want and in the format they want, whether on a mobile device, tablet, online or television, so maximising audience reach across those platforms was a core launch objective.
“ChannelSculptor‘s work over the past few months has helped to maximise our potential viewership and to secure simulcrypted Pay-TV carriage for our High Definition channel.”
During the build-up to launch, ChannelSculptor was an integral part of the launch team, providing technical and market analysis, recommendations on distribution strategy and supporting the engagement of satellite, cable, IPTV, web and mobile distribution partners including Qtel, du, Etisalat, Eurostar, Abu Dhabi TV Network and OSN.
Nick Grande, managing director, ChannelSculptor, said: “Sky News Arabia is also available around the world on Livestation, the online news channel aggregator, and via apps for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.
“We believe that this is the most comprehensive distribution package ever secured for a new channel launch in the MENA region. We are very proud to have played a role in in setting a new standard for what can be achieved in a new channel launch.”
Of course, as a new channel, Sky had an advantage in that existing broadcasters quite simply couldn’t launch with such comprehensive accessibility – for many platforms such as tablet and mobile TV simply did not exist when they came into being. Nonetheless, it’s determination, application and, most importantly, success, have set a benchmark for both existing and future broadcasters in the region. It’s early days, but hopefully its content will proceed to set a similarly high standard.
Sky News Arabia is broadcast on Transponder 15 on Arabsat Badr 4, Transponder 14 on Nilesat 201, on Qtel Mozaic, du IPTV and e-Life platforms plus in high definition on the OSN pay-TV platform, as well as the Abu Dhabi TV Network.