RIYADH: A new television channel to be launched in the Kingdom during Ramadan will specialize in Saudi and Arab drama.
The Saudi Broadcasting Corp. channel SBC will promote drama and art productions featuring leading Arab actors and directors.
Shows and specialist programs will also focus on religion, family, sports, and general entertainment.
The launch of the channel will help lay the foundation for a solid media and film industry in the Kingdom, Dawood Al-Shirian, president of the Saudi Broadcasting Corp., told Arab News.
“It has been a challenge. Launching a new channel might take a year and half. However, we have done the work in just five months,” Al-Shirian said.
“We did not want to just promise, we wanted to build a relationship of trust and transparency between us, the viewers and investors. The change never happens overnight, but we have already started to satisfy viewers and show investors the huge investment opportunities we have,” he said.
Al-Shirian added that the SBC management had a “new mindset and mentality that reflects the transition the Kingdom is undergoing politically, economically, and technologically.
“We are aiming to raise the viewership rate over the entire Arab world. We are spending in areas that have been neglected, such as production, supporting youth, content development and attracting advertising.”
Al-Shirian said Saudi actors, filmmakers, producers and writers had proven their talent worldwide, but lacked appreciation from the Saudi Broadcasting Corp. in the past.
“We will attract talented Saudis and qualified youth to make use of our national capabilities. We will also utilize the capabilities of students who have studied abroad,” he said.
In the past, Saudi film investors had been forced to look outside the Kingdom for production opportunities.
“However, the return of cinema has paved the way for strong investment opportunities in film that will lead to better investments in all media sectors.
“We have met with Saudi and foreign investors to create partnerships. We will turn the Saudi Broadcasting Corp. into a mutually beneficial business,” Al-Shirian said.
“We are working with media leaders to make partnerships. We will never settle for less than international benchmarks.”