JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s ambitious reform drive took another step forward this week, with the launch of a new public TV channel branded “SBC.”
The Saudi Broadcasting Corp. channel will promote drama and art productions featuring leading Arab actors and directors.
The channel’s shows and specialist programs will also focus on religion, family, sports, and general entertainment.
Dawood Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Shirian is the president of the Saudi Broadcasting Corp. since Nov. 27, 2017. Al-Shirian is a Saudi journalist, media personality and TV presenter. He also hosted the television program Al-Thamina on MBC from 2012 until Nov. 12, 2017.
Al-Shirian attained a degree in journalism from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1976.
He began his career in journalism in 1977 with Al-Jazira newspaper. He then joined Al-Yamamah magazine in 1977 and became its managing editor. Al-Shirian became the first correspondent of the Associated Press in Saudi Arabia in 1980.
The launch of the channel will help lay the foundation for a solid media and film industry in the Kingdom, Al-Shirian 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,” he said.
“We did not want to just promise, we wanted to build a relationship of trust and transparency between us, the viewers and investors ,” 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.”
Al-Shirian said the Saudi artists, filmmakers, producers and writers have 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,” he said.