CNBC to open Middle East HQ in Abu Dhabi next year

CNBC's London HQ. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2017
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CNBC to open Middle East HQ in Abu Dhabi next year

LONDON: Global business and financial news network CNBC is set to launch its new Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of next year.
The network will broadcast from a studio in the emirate’s financial hub, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
CNBC said it will produce a daily global business show from its Abu Dhabi base, while also building up a stronger editorial presence across the region. It is looking to hire at 10 people to work at the new HQ.
“Abu Dhabi offers an excellent base for CNBC in the Middle East. It is home to many of the region’s key businesses and decision-makers as well as being a major financial services hub,” said KC Sullivan, president and managing director of CNBC International.
The broadcaster will also be offering commercial services such as tailored events and research to clients in the region, Sullivan said.
Chairman of ADGM, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, said: “The presence of CNBC here augments Abu Dhabi’s position as one of the leading global business and financial hubs. ADGM will continue to play its part to connect local and global businesses to opportunities in this region, as well as to enable investors to access actionable financial news and information.”
Earlier this year, the network started broadcasting regular live Middle East business updates from the ADGM presented by the Middle East anchor Hadley Gamble, ahead of establishing a permanent studio presence.
CNBC already broadcasts daily from its other regional headquarters in New York, London and Singapore.


Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

Updated 19 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

  • Broadcast of political messages in coverage forbidden, analyst confirms.
  • Saudi football federation urges FIFA to sanction the Doha-owned channel.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has a justified case in complaining to FIFA over the “politicization” of the World Cup by the Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports, a prominent TV analyst has said.
A flurry of comments by hosts and pundits aired on BeIN’s Arabic station prompted the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to complain to FIFA this week, saying the broadcaster was using the football tournament to spread political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.
In its complaint, the federation called on FIFA to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
One BeIN commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while a Doha-based international footballer invited on the channel was allowed to call for an end to the year-long boycott of Qatar by neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, principal TV research analyst at IHS Markit Technology, said that politicized coverage was expressly forbidden by world football’s governing body as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“FIFA and UEFA forbid the transmission of political messages during football matches for which they control the rights. It’s not only comments by the broadcasters — but even banners; everything (political) is forbidden,” the analyst told Arab News.
“So messages about Palestine, about political things, are not allowed.”
Papavassilopoulos said that if there is evidence of such cases, authorities in the Kingdom would be justified in taking the matter to FIFA.
“If there are video clips that show BeIN media personnel speaking against Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a case,” he said.
But whether FIFA will take any action against BeIN is another matter. Papavassilopoulos pointed to the fact that BeIN is a valued client of FIFA — it bought the rights to host the World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa — and that Qatar plans to host the tournament in 2022.
“BeIN media is a very good client for FIFA. And don’t forget that Qatar is the country that will host the 2022 World Cup,” he said. “It’s going to be very very hard for FIFA to impose penalties on BeIN media knowing that Qatar will hold the next World Cup.”
Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against BeIN’s politicization of World Cup coverage, urging FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage.
FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Arab News.