Saturday, September 16, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | BBC Arabic | Service Expands Offerings

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has learned that the BBC World Service has rolled out two radio developments in the Arab world this week.

Firstly, the BBC World Service, in a cooperative joint venture with the Ministry of Information Kuwait has launched BBC 100.1FM, a radio station in Kuwait City covering the whole country. The station broadcasts in English 24/7.

For the first time, listeners in Kuwait can now hear BBC World Service programs in English 24 hours a day, seven days a week since the launch of the new FM relay station, BBC 100.1FM.

The BBC executive in charge of the project, Jerry Timmins, Head of Africa & Middle East Region, BBC World Service, said this is the first fully dedicated BBC English relay on air in the whole Gulf region. The BBC says that listeners in Kuwait can now hear for the first time the full range of BBC programmes in English in FM broadcast quality.

The BBC Arabic Service is already heard in Kuwait on the dedicated relay radio station, 90.1 FM (in Arabic).

Khalid AI-Tarrah, Director of the Kuwait Information Centre in London, said the new agreement (for BBC 100.1FM in English) is a crowning moment in the well established co-operation between Kuwait’s Ministry of Information and the BBC.

Meanwhile, the BBC is expanding its presence in Sudan. There it has started to supply BBC Arabic news bulletins for broadcast on partner station, Mango 96 FM in Khartoum. The bulletins broadcast on the hour every hour during the 18 hours of transmissions of Mango 96FM broadcast day.

BBC's Arabic Service is already carried on a full time Khartoum FM relay station on 91FM, as is the case in Port Sudan and Al Ubayyid, also 90FM; in Juba on 90FM and 88.2FM, and in Wad Madani on 91.5FM.

Mekki Mahmoud Abdulla, Chairman of Mango Holding said the tie up with BBC Arabic Service news is in line with Mango Media’s rapid development plans to be a complete information provider to its customers in the Sudan.

Mango 96FM radio station is part of Mango Holding, a private group with media and technology businesses and interests in Dubai, North Africa, Levant and Sudan. Mango 96 FM was the first private commercial FM radio service in the Republic of the Sudan (Jumhuriyat as-Sudan).

[Note:In 2007 Mango Holding will launch radio broadcast services in three new areas in Sudan and two other African countries. Details at http://www.mango96.com (website is in Arabic only).

A further note: BBC Arabic continues to be the leading international radio news service in Arabic, supported by http://www.bbcarabic.com being the most visited web site with extensive content and live Internet streaming of the BBC Arabic programs 24/7.

Digital broadcaster, the BBC will introduce a dedicated BBC Arabic satellite television service in October 2007.

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