The news that caught me today is (at https://dohanews.co/saudi-arabia-mulls-launch-of-english-news-channel-to-rival-al-jazeera-reports/) giving us ‘Saudi Arabia mulls launch of English news channel to rival Al Jazeera’. I actually originally got it from the Financial Times, but they are behind a paywall, so I cannot use them as a source. So Saudi Arabia is now considering an English News Channel. This changes things. First E-Sports, now sports (Messi And Ronaldo), Formula one and now we get “A Saudi state-backed media organisation is considering the development of an international English-language news station, seen as an effort to counter Qatar’s flagship Al Jazeera network and boost the kingdom’s media influence”. I personally think that there is another reason. You see, if tourism develops in Saudi Arabia, the need for an English Channel rises and it’s need will rise exponentially. It also allows to dig into advertisement funds that have been denied them for decades. You see, the advertiser goes to where the people and the money is. The money is already in Saudi Arabia, but soon so will be the people. The stages of sports will allow Saudi Arabia exclusive news channelling and that leads to more revenue and more visibility. Even as we are given “The Saudi Research and Media Group reportedly approached media consultancies to assess the viability and scope of the endeavour, according to a number of people familiar with the project, the Financial Times reported. They said it will be the second-largest English-language broadcaster in the Arab world, after Al Jazeera English, although the preparations are still in the early stages.” And this is not all, there is another reason. As western media ‘embraced’ their Share holder, stake holder and advertiser approach to filtering information. They lost credibility and the audience. Most places no longer call it news, they refer to it as information entertainment (Fox anyone?) In addition to this, the west would finally get real information on Aramco (not filtered by Brent), on SAMI (not filtered by the pentagon) and sports. It would even propel interest into things like Camel racing, the Emirates Ice Hockey League and from that we could see the development of a Saudi Ice Hockey league. We know that they are still not a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation, but to see Saudi Arabia grow teams in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, taking on the UAE teams from the Emirates Hockey League (EHL). We could see names like Abu Dhabi Scorpions, Abu Dhabi Storms, Al Ain Theebs, Dubai White Bears, Dubai Mighty Camels propel all over the western TV stations.
If the west is embracing sports Saudi Arabia has the making to replace a whole collection of news channels that lost too much credibility. And it isn’t merely influence. As I personally see it the KSA lacks perception and awareness in the view of the non Arabian people and this could be a first step to open that door. Beyond that there are several markets where the KSA could set foot into and in this world in this current economic climate that will go a long way, what is important that the first steps are made setting the larger stage towards doing something and that is where it is at. Will it happen? This happening is a logical step after setting claims towards E-sports, Formula 1, Football and Ice hockey. Beyond that is the stage where the people will get first looks on the Line (that long building) and several other innovations coming towards us from Saudi Arabia.
A bigger shift is underway and the US with their deceptive ‘entertainment’ like Fox and even CNN, they will have nothing to counter it. In the last 5 years they wasted too much credibility opening the door to other players and as I see it the KSA stands to add an audience of close to half a billion in the first 2 years, would you like to see the advertisement money on that pool?
Enjoy the day before Friday.