Riyadh-registered Middle East and North Africa integrated media group SRMG has announced the launch of Asharq Documentary, an Arabic language, free-to-air factual channel available on a variety of platforms.
Asharq Documentary joins a growing bouquet of channels gathered under the Asharq News Network banner, which also include Asharq News, Asharq Business with Bloomberg, and the soon-to-launch Asharq Discovery.
SRMG said the creation of Asharq was in response to growing audience appetite for more long-form, high-quality documentaries in the MENA region.
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The group said that according to an in-house study more than 80% of those surveyed in MENA wanted more and higher quality factual Arabic content.
It also noted that its Asharq News channel has already aired over 400 hours of quality documentaries with strong viewing figures and positive audience engagement.
“The MENA region currently lacks a comprehensive Arabic language documentary channel that delves into the topics shaping our world today,” said SRMG CEO Jomana R. Al-Rashid.
“SRMG has seized the opportunity to expand into this untapped market by creating Asharq Documentary – a new free-to-air factual documentary multi-platform dedicated to uncovering the stories behind the trending headlines and delving deeper into the related facts and information.”
The offering will feature both new content produced in-house as well as commissions and acquisitions.
First acquisitions include America and the Taliban, a three-part investigation that first ran on PBS’s Frontline program; Oliver Stone’s pro-nuclear energy film Nuclear Now; Space War, about the superpowers space race and Real Madrid, about the history of the legendary Spanish soccer club.
Asharq Documentary Manager Mohammed Al Yousei said the goal was to become the leading platform in the region for documentary.
“Asharq Documentary will produce factual films covering a wide range of topics including politics, economics, business, and history. The multi- platform offers in-depth insights and analysis utilizing state-of-the-art technology in our production process, to bring the content to life,” he said.
The channel will launch on September 3.
Asharq Documentary will be accessible through a dedicated television channel and social media accounts, as well as through live streaming and on-demand services via Asharq NOW.
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