The SBC television channel offers a broad mix of exclusive content and programmes
The station went on air on the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan
RIYADH, May 18 (CIC) – State-run Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has launched a new free-to-air television channel, SBC, that offers a broad mix of exclusive programmes. The move is part of Saudi Arabia’s modernisation drive.
The channel, which went on air at 4 pm Riyadh local time on Thursday, the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, will broadcast films, as well as exclusive television series, talk shows, cookery shows and religious programmes.
“’Our Future is Here’ with this bold and promising phrase, Saudi Broadcasting Corporation announces the launch of a new entertainment channel ‘SBC’,” SBC said in a statement.
The channel – the latest addition to the state-owned group – is headed by Dawood Al-Shirian, a seasoned journalist, who was appointed executive director of the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation at the Ministry of Culture and Information last year.
“This is a new channel that will project the true image of modern Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Minister of Culture and Information.
“This is part of the continued journey of the Kingdom, anchored in its glorious past but looking ahead to a brighter and better future, as it embarks on implementing its ambitious Vision 2030 blueprint for the road ahead.
“We are currently witnessing positive developments across the sectors from the economy, to entertainment and culture, and the new channel will help shed light on these changes.”
The new channel replaces Al-Thakafiyah — the cultural and art channel that has been cancelled.
The channel’s programmes will be targeted at the age group between 15 and 35 years, according to SBC officials. The under-35s form about two-thirds of the Kingdom’s 32-million-plus population.
SBC also launched on Thursday the SBC channel’s website sbcchannel.sa, as well as the shashatcom.sa portal which will offer the most popular programmes and serials, both on demand and via live broadcast, free of charge. The portal can be accessed without registration and viewers can reach their favourite programmes with three easy clicks, SBC officials said.
“The main objective of the Saudi channel is to be among the best, and there is a team which accepted the challenge, and is ready to amaze,” Al Shirian said.
“In the next five years, TV screens will further decline and they will be replaced by digital platforms. The first broadcast will coincide with the launch of the channel’s website named ‘Your screen’ (Shashacom). We are interested in opening up promising opportunities for the youth on social media by presenting their content on the site,” he added.
SBC said: “The channel successfully attracted attention before launching as a result of its wide media campaign that covered the Saudi and Gulf State’s streets, and was wide spread throughout social media platforms, welcomed by social media users with enthusiasm and suspense.
“The Saudi and Arab audience are up for an eventful month with SBC’s show for the holy month of Ramadan.”
The package consists of local and Arabic exclusives, including local family entertainment shows, as well as cooking shows, SBC added.
The channel will also screen religious shows, including a show with Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, as well as ‘Manarat’ documentary that “will take us on a tour to visit the most beautiful and prominent mosques around the world.”
SBC said that the channel and its content would reflect the audiences’ interests and ambitions. Its promise: “You choose to watch it and you will love it.”
“This promise is meant for Ramadan and beyond,” SBC said. “It will reidentify the media in the region and become a standard for the art of presenting attractive content.”
Al-Shirian said that SBC was expected to attract millions of riyals in advertising, most of which is currently being spent outside the Kingdom. “We have to halt the exit of funds from the Saudi advertising market, estimated at $3 billion,” he said.
After launching SBC, we will launch SBC 2 in English and develop the children’s TV station, Ajyal, he said.