MUMBAI: From today 19 January, the BBC will enhance its multimedia service in Arabic by extending the BBC Arabic television broadcasts to 24 hours a day and introducing five new television presenters from across the Arab world – Makki Helal, Dima Izzedin, Malak Jaafar, Tareq Naser and Nouran Sallam. BBC Arabic is the BBC‘s integrated news and information service for the Arab world.
The launch of round-the-clock TV broadcasting means that BBC Arabic becomes a 24/7 multimedia service bringing Arabic-speaking audiences, from across the world, news and analysis via radio, online, television and mobile.
BBC Arabic head Hosam El Sokkari says, "Our TV operation has gone from strength to strength since its launch as a 12 hours a day operation in March 2008, and our 24/7 television service will offer a non-stop news service for Arabic-speakers whenever, and wherever, they want it.
"We have reinforced our presenter team with five new talents, who will, no doubt, enrich our programming with new dynamics and style."
The launch of the 24/7 TV operation builds on the success of the BBC Arabic multimedia news service.
The UK pubcaster says that the website, bbcarabic.com, continues to grow. A strong area of growth is delivered via its mobile WAP site. This follows new linking agreements with mobile phone operators in the region, including Vodafone Live in Egypt, Orange in Jordan and Zain in Bahrain.
In another recent development, BBC Arabic is now offering one-minute video news bulletins in Saudi Arabia, via operators STC and Mobily.
BBC Arabic continues to expand its global distribution network beyond the North Africa and Middle East region.
Following an agreement with International Media Distribution (IMD), a division of ART – Arab Radio and Television – BBC Arabic television is broadcast for one hour every day, at 21.00 GMT, in the USA on the ART America Channel on the EchoStar platform.
ART America will also join BBC Arabic television from 20 January for six hours of special coverage of the inauguration of US President Barack Obama.
As the BBC‘s publicly-funded international television service, BBC Arabic television is freely available to everyone with a satellite or cable connection in the region. It is distributed free to air by Arabsat, Eutelsat and Nilesat satellite systems.
BBC Arabic television is also available on Channel 41 of the E Vision cable platform in the UAE and is streamed live via the website bbcarabic.com.