Al Arabiya Extends Lead as No. 1 in Saudi Arabia
Latest reliable viewership figures for the month of February show Al Arabiya News Channel maintaining its projected upward swing in popularity. In fact the Dubai-based news provider has extended its lead as the most trusted source of political and business news in Saudi Arabia by a substantial margin in all broadcast categories, and not only the news segment. It is expected that Al Arabiya will enhance its position in the months to come in the light of the breakneck developments witnessed by Gulf stock markets. Al Arabiya has gained substantial voice share in the market by virtue of its unique coverage of business issues, in addition to its overall news programming, be it news bulletins or current affairs.
According to the new figures issued by IPSOS-STAT, Al Arabiya enjoys a 6.13% jump in viewership since January, bringing the channel to a current rating of 30.34% in KSA. Al Jazeera - its closest competitor in the news segment - stands at 21.43. These figures underline Al Arabiya’s prime-time dominance.
“This is yet another milestone in the young life of Al Arabiya,” says Jihad Ballout, the channel’s spokesman, adding that it is indicative of the validity and relevance to Arab viewers of the channel’s editorial policy and style.
Al Arabiya’s business news is a deciding factor in the viewership race. The channel’s up-to-the-minute updates, intelligent analysis and comprehensive coverage of the latest market trends throughout the region have been instrumental in cementing the channel’s success in Saudi Arabia. This pattern will remain so long as the market frenzy gripping major Middle East markets continues.
In November 2005, Al Arabiya moved into number one position with a 24% audience reach in KSA during primetime. The channel saw its lead increase to 24.2% in January and then leap to 30.34% where it currently stands. Moreover, the channel has been gaining popularity in Iraq with latest survey figures showing Al Arabiya as the number one satellite news provider, some ways ahead of its closest competitor and second only to Al Iraqiya, a general entertainment terrestrial channel targeting Iraq. Ballout concludes: “Al Arabiya’s performance is noticeable in that, although barely 3 years of age, it has been registering viewership figures the envy of long-standing news broadcasters anywhere in the world.”
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