Debut production puts Dubai One in the news

Dubai One has made its first foray into production with the launch of Emirates News.

The nightly half-hour news bulletin went live on Thursday and is part of the English language channel's increased commitment to innovation and original programming.

The show, which is broadcast at 7.30pm UAE time and sponsored by Etisalat, is broadcast from parent company Dubai Media Incorporated's news centre at Dubai Media City and focuses on local news. Former CNBC Arabiya presenter Ramia Farrage will anchor the show alongside Hermione Macura.

The launch follows the re-branding of One TV as Dubai One in December last year a re-branding that saw the arrival of new shows such as The Sopranos and The West Wing, new on-screen idents and a comprehensive ad campaign.

Speaking to Campaign at the launch of Emirates News, Najla Al Awadhi, general manager of Dubai One and deputy CEO of DMI, said it marked the beginning of the channel's march into in-house production, although she declined to say what was to follow or how much of an investment the show represented .

"The possibilities are endless," she said. "There are so many things we want to do, but we have to start somewhere and we want to do it right and we want to do it well; that is what we believe in. Emirates News is just the beginning."

Al Awadhi also admitted that the launch was part of a wider strategy to attract advertisers and to tap into different revenue streams.

"We are trying to move away from government subsidies and for that reason we have to be more commercially minded," she said. "There are a lot of international firms and multinationals in the UAE who are increasing their advertising and are advertising on TV, so I'm very optimistic about the investment we've made with Emirates News."

In an interview with Campaign shortly after the channel's re-branding, Al Awadhi said the channel's need to invest in innovative production and to exploit new media such as video-on-demand and mobile content was paramount.

"We're going into all those new areas because the advertising market for free-to-air, even though it's growing, isn't growing at that exponential rate that we want it to. So we need to look for new revenue streams continuously."

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