According to media reports, media conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery and Saudi Research and Media Group have signed a long-term partnership to launch a new free-to-air (FTA) Arabic language channel, Asharq Discovery, that will be available exclusively for audiences in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
The partnership maintains Warner Bros. Discovery’s MENA expansion strategy and SRMG’s growth strategy, brought together by a shared goal of diversifying content and improving its accessibility to help propel MENA’s entertainment industry to become one of the largest globally.
Jamie Cooke, GM CEE, Middle East & Turkey, spoke about the partnership and said, “The MENA’s entertainment industry has been undergoing an incredible transformation and exponential growth, posing great potential and offering immense opportunities for content players and consumers. Having established our Discovery brand in linear channels and successfully launching our non-fictional streaming service discovery+ last year, we believe launching a new FTA channel in MENA with the homegrown powerhouse, SRMG is a solid step for us to build a 360 ecosystem of entertainment. In addition, this partnership will also support our MENA business development strategy to increase our presence in the region.”
Also commenting, CEO of SRMG Jomana Al Rashid said, “Our new strategic collaboration with Warner Bros Discovery will further strengthen our ability to deliver dynamic, innovative, and exciting Arabic content through multiple new formats and platforms. This partnership further demonstrates SRMG’s unrelenting focus and commitment to its consumer-centric approach, bringing our audiences engaging and premium content – when, where and how they want it. In addition, Discovery has an unrivalled legacy of producing cutting-edge, high-quality documentaries.”
“We look forward to collaborating to deliver co-commissioned quality content, provide new job opportunities and best-in-class training, and tap into a unique global network for our growing audiences,” Rashid added.
According to the companies, Asharq Discovery will offer audiences real-life entertainment with thousands of hours worth of premium content, including originals, premiers and exclusives, across a wide selection of genres spanning pop science and engineering, motoring and turbo, wildlife and nature, adventure and travel, reality and lifestyle, crime mystery documentaries.
Furthermore, Warner Bros. Discovery and SRMG have earmarked co-productions of high-quality local programming to be distributed globally through the Discovery Global network – thus adding more cultural and market relevance to the mix.