Sky News Arabia is introducing the first "virtual" news studios to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as part of its innovation drive to deliver high-quality storytelling and news broadcasting in an increasingly digital world.
This means that the latest virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology will now be incorporated on a digital-first content platform looking to be the "most cutting-edge newsroom" in the region. Three new shows, including a daily sports show live from the AR set, will be launched using the new technologies. These are the biggest enhancements the channel has announced since its launch in 2012.
"We have raised the game for news broadcasters in the region, with new ways of showcasing our content and stories that ensure we continue to serve our audiences in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as having a global outlook," said Hani Abuayyash, Sky News Arabia’s Head of News.
Keep an eye out for new programming!
The channel also announced a new programming lineup, complete with new presenters, new broadcast technology, and a refreshed schedule.
The new editorial content, across the brand's television and digital platforms, will include live coverage from daybreak until the early hours of the morning, seven days a week, and programs that cover current events and analysis, business, technology, lifestyle, and sports. A new dedicated documentary unit will also be launched to offer viewers more investigative and informative stories from around the region.
“No matter when you tune into Sky News Arabia, you will find high-quality news output and in-depth reporting that is relevant to your life and the issues you care about most. These changes will help to bring the news to life, making our content more visually compelling and reflective of the fact that our viewers are increasingly consuming news online and want more live news coverage as it happens," Hani Abuayyash said.
The new programming includes ‘News Radar’ at 6 pm, which will be presented by Fadila Soussi. The show will feature analysis and discussion of the latest world news with two guests who have different points of view, while an enhanced version of ‘Timeline’ at midnight will see new host Carolina Nassar present a review of the day’s news using the latest VR technologies. The ‘Newsroom’ show will now run seven days a week at 10 pm with Mohannad Al Khatib hosting guests to discuss the latest hot topics and news analysis.
A brand-new format for the ‘Morning Show’ will also be introduced. Presented by Nancy Tabet and Hani Ziade it will cover topics such as culture, music, food, and fashion alongside current affairs, business, and sports news. Similarly, an enhanced format for the “Evening Show” will run every weekday at 8 pm. Presented by Faisal Huraiz and Majed Al Faresi it will provide viewers with the latest news and in-depth coverage from across the Gulf region.
Sky News Arabia’s sports program ‘Mala’eb’ will be broadcast from an AR studio daily at 1:15 am, using the latest in graphics technology to bring viewers up close to all the action. Additionally, a new international news segment will be broadcast at 2 am to appeal to Arab speakers in North African countries and Western time zones. An in-depth business bulletin presented by Editor-in-Chief of Business, Lubna Bouza, will also be broadcast throughout the day three times a week.
Sky News Arabia also announced that it is launching made-for digital programming designed to appeal to a new generation across the region. These programs have been specifically designed for digital channels and will feature youth news, humanitarian stories, travel, current affairs and a look back at some of the most significant historical events.