New channel aims for 'infotainment'

New satellite channel Al Aan TV has set its sights on claiming a major slice of the lucrative pan-Arab advertising market.

The channel, which is broadcasting free-to-air on the Nilesat and Arabsat platforms, is targeting Arab women and their families across the GCC and Levant.

The all-Arabic channel, which is backed by a US$2 million marketing spend, has been on air since a soft launch last month but its official launch is this week.

Al Aan TV is owned by a new Dubai-based holding group called Tower Media, which plans to launch further channels in the region.

Zoya Saker, head of corporate communications for Al Aan TV, said the channel would offer Arab viewers a new genre of "infotainment".

"This is a new genre for the Middle East called infotainment, which is a mix of information and entertainment," she said.

"We want to be a valuable guest in every home. We want to get through to the women of the family."

The channel will broadcast 15 minutes of news every hour, along with programmes about subjects such as cooking and real life . All programmes will be produced exclusively for Al Aan from a studio in Lebanon.

The channel's revenues will be generated through advertising, which is being sold by an in-house team of five. Saker said: "We will carve a niche for ourselves. I see the channel achieving a huge advertising spend and excellent recall."

The US$2 million pan-Arab marketing campaign is already underway. The campaign includes outdoor, print, radio, online and direct marketing.

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