Arab News launches Pakistan edition as part of global expansion

South Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani (Left) and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas (Right). (AN Photo)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Arab News launches Pakistan edition as part of global expansion

ISLAMABAD: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, today announces the launch of a Pakistan online edition, as part of the newspaper’s ongoing global and digital expansion.
The service — available in English at www.arabnews.pk — covers news and views from Pakistan and the wider region, with a particular focus on Islamabad’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.
It is updated daily by a multimedia news-gathering team led by the award-winning journalist Baker Atyani, head of Arab News’ Southeast Asia bureau.
The www.arabnews.pk site is the first of a series of country-specific online editions that the newspaper is planning to launch, and is part of the brand’s “more digital, more global” strategy which was announced last year.

Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, said that the new service aims to develop “a two-way conversation with an extremely important target market for us,” citing the strategic significance of Pakistan and the historic ties it shares with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general.
“Arab News is already a recognizable brand among many Pakistanis, given its deeply-rooted relationship with the huge expat community in Saudi Arabia, where our newspaper was founded in 1975,” he said.
“There are numerous shared ambitions, opportunities and areas of common interest between Pakistan and Arab countries — from religion and culture, to defense and trade ties. All of these areas will be covered extensively by our new dedicated digital service,” concluded Abbas.  
The Arab News Pakistan digital edition will have its base in Islamabad, and will managed by the newspaper’s Southeast Asia bureau chief Baker Atyani.
Atyani said that www.arabnews.pk would help throw light on a part of Asia which is not always well-understood by English-speaking audiences.
“It is an honor and a big responsibility to be handling this exciting project for Arab News,” said Atyani.
“It is a natural extension for an already influential brand into a geographic area which is extremely important and badly misunderstood.”
Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). It has been the English newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia and the region for over 40 years.


Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

Updated 20 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

  • The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships
  • In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop its monopolizing practices

LONDON: Saudi Arabian authorities have permanently revoked the license of beIN Sports after accusing the Qatari-owned channel of illegal monopolizing practices.
The General Authority for Competition (GAC) released a statement revealing its decision and announcing it had also slapped beIN Sports with a SR10 million ($2.6 million) fine due to the alleged violations.
“The GAC clarified it has received many complaints from citizens and participants against beIN Sports since March 2016 for violating competition rules in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it said in a statement.
The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships, forcing fans wanting to watch the football tournament to subscribe to other channels, including non-sports ones.
In addition, football-hungry viewers were forced to renew their subscription to the main channels for an entire year as a condition to watch the Euros, even though their subscription should have covered the period during which the competition, won by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, took place.

 

In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop the monopolizing practices.
“These are clear violations of the competition’s rules. The board of directors thus decided to take the appropriate measures to end these practices and the monopoly violations committed by BeIN,” the statement said at the time.
It is beIN’s failure to implement changes that has resulted in the complete revoking of its license. The channel appealed against the 2017 decision before the administrative court of the board of grievances in Riyadh. The administrative justice found the case of BeIN Sport against the GAC inadmissible.
As a result, the channel’s license was permanently revoked and it was hit with the mammoth fine.
The move is the latest in a long-running dispute between the Kingdom and the Qatari channel. Saudi authorities have accused beIN Sports of engaging in a media smear campaign against the country.
During the World Cup the channel was also accused of infringing broadcasting standards by “politicizing” coverage of the football tournament.
It led legal experts to claim that FIFA should launch an investigation into why the broadcaster brought politics into play during coverage of World Cup games.
The broadcaster was not immediately available for comment.

FACTOID

3.2bn – Number of people around the world who tuned in to watch the World Cup, according to FIFA – almost half the world’s population.