Bloomberg, Saudi prince to launch "Alarab"


Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who heads Kingdom Holding Co. has signed a deal with Bloomberg LP to launch a new Arabic language satellite news channel. Bloomberg will create of five hours of financial and economic news programming throughout the day on Alarab.

The channel, whose headquarters hasn’t been announced yet, is expected to launch next year, reports Dow Jones. Alwaleed said Alarab will “focus editorially on the important shifts taking place across the Arab world, with an emphasis on freedom of speech and freedom of press.”

Alarab will compete with Aljazeera, launched in 1996 following the closure of the BBC’s Arabic language television station, a joint venture with a Qatar Media Corp. company. Al Jazeera is owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and HQ’d in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several specialty TV channels in multiple languages, accessible in several world regions.

Prince Alwaleed has focused his investments on banks, hotels and media companies, building sizable stakes in Citigroup, News Corp., Apple and Time Warner.

News Corp. owns a 14% stake in Prince Alwaleed’s media company, Rotana.