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Arab Satellite TV News

Marwan M. Kraidy


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Arab →  satellite television emerged in the context of the 1991 Gulf War. Since then, the evolution of the industry has evinced two changes of direction. First, there was a shift, in the 1990s, from officially sanctioned national broadcasting systems to a process of regional media integration (→  West Asia: Media Systems ; Egypt: Media System ; North Africa: Media Systems ; Communication Law and Policy: Middle East). The second shift occurred around 2000, toward specialization and niche markets. The years 1991, 1996, and 2003 witnessed industry milestones. First, politically connected Saudi entrepreneurs launched the Middle East Broadcasting System (MBC) in London, and the Egyptian government launched the Egyptian Satellite Channel (ESC) in 1991. Then came the launch of Al Jazeera and the initiation of satellite operations by Lebanese broadcasters LBC and Future TV in 1996. In 2003, Al Arabiya went on the air as a Saudi-financed rival to Al Jazeera. As of 2007, there were more than 250 Arabic-language, transnational satellite television channels. Though Arab satellite channels began broadcasting in the 1990s, the policy and technical infrastructure of Arab satellite television had developed over three decades . The Arab satellite organization ARABSAT was established in April 1976 as an organization affiliated with the Arab League. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia bankrolled ARABSAT, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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