BBC Arabic Television

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BBC Arabic Television
BBC Arabic Television.png
Launched 11 March 2008 (2008-03-11)
Network BBC World Service
Owned by BBC
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
Audience share Available in 10.7 million homes (March 2007, )
Country United Kingdom
Language Literary Arabic
Broadcast area Middle East
Headquarters Broadcasting House, London
Hot Bird 6 12597 V / 27500 / 3/4
Hot Bird 7A 11334 H / 27500 / 2/3 & 11432 V / 27500 / 2/3
Astra 1L 11597 V / 22000 / 5/6
Thor 2 11325 H / 24500 / 7/8
SKY Italia Channel 520
Cyfra+ Channel 104
Cyfrowy Polsat Channel 85
Boom TV Channel ?
Digital+ Channel 75
Bell ExpressVu Channel 510
Star Choice Channel 501
Astro Malaysia Channel 93
Tata Sky Channel 536
Dialog TV Channel 2
TrueVisions Channel 72
Astro Nusantara Channel 32
SKY Network Television Channel 93
SelecTVdisambiguation needed Channel 5
TVB Pay Vision Channel 62
SkyLife Channel 528
CanalSat Channel 48
Digiturk Channel 122
Dream Channel 21
Foxtel Channel 606
SKY Latin Americadisambiguation needed Channel 631
DStv Channel 50
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal Channel 51
NTV Plus Channel 10
UPC Ireland Channel 206
StarHub digital Channel 13
Rogers Cable Channel 194 Digital (Analogue varies by region)
Shaw TV Channels Vary
Cablevision Channel 104
now TV Channel 320
Cable TV Channel 75
Foxtel Digital Channel 103
SkyCable Channel 29
Global Destiny Channel 43
OneLink Communications (San Juan, Puerto Rico) Channel 74
TelstraClear InHomeTV Channel 93
Verizon FiOS Channel 92
CATV (50%) various numbers
Foxtel Digital Channel 606
Kabel Deutschland Channel 838
RCS&RDS Channel 53
UPC Channel 79
FASTWEB (Italy) Channel 520
FASTWEB (Italy) Channel 520
Alice Home TV (Italy) Channel 520
Streaming media
BBC Arabic Watch live

BBC Arabic Television is a television news channel broadcast to the Middle East by the BBC. It was launched at 0956 GMT on 11 March 2008. The service was announced in October 2005 and was to start broadcasting in Autumn 2007, but was delayed.


Presenters include Dima Izzedin,Tareq Alaas, Tony Khouri, Malak Jaafar, Fida Bassil, Rania Al-Attar and Hamdan Jerjawi.


BBC Arabic Television is run by the BBC World Service; as such, it is funded from a grant-in-aid from the British Foreign Office and not the television licence that is used to fund the BBC's domestic broadcasting. The service is based in the Egton Wing of Broadcasting House in London, but some technical aspects are managed at the BBC World Service's Bush House. 24-hour programming began 19 January 2009.

In 2011, as the British government cut funding to the BBC, forcing the BBC World Service to close down its services in five languages, the government simultaneously increased funding to the BBC Arabic service, in the words of Foreign Secretary William Hague, to "assist the BBC Arabic Service to continue their valuable work in the region".1


BBC Arabic can also be seen via The website includes a 16:9 live stream of the channel.

Newshour, an hour-long news bulletin is broadcast twice a day. In this programme, the top stories of the day are analysed and covered by BBC correspondents around the world. Other bulletins are half-an-hour long. The top stories are broadcast on the channel every fifteen minutes.


This is not the first time that the BBC has attempted to set up an Arabic television service. The previous attempt closed on 21 April 1996, after two years on air, when the BBC's partners, Orbit Communications Corporation (owned by King Fahd's cousin, Prince Khaled) pulled the plug after the BBC broadcast an episode of Panorama that was critical of the Saudi Arabian government. Many of the staff who worked for the original BBC Arabic Television service went on to work for Al Jazeera television.2 Al Jazeera is one of BBC Arabic Television's main competitors.



External links

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