YahLive wins Abu Dhabi Media

YahLive, a new all-HDTV satellite platform targeting the Middle East, has signed an important deal with Abu Dhabi Media to transmit six of its channels.

YahLive says it currently carries about 30 HD channels, with plans to boost that to nearer 50 by the end of the year. “The addition of exclusive Abu Dhabi media channels means that our customers will be able to view some of the biggest sporting events and leading entertainment all in highest-quality HD,” said Mohamed Youssif, the CEO at YahLive, speaking at the Dubai CABSAT show.

Adding the ADM channels is no surprise, given that the broadcaster is a sister company of Mubadala, which is backing YahLive and YahSat.

However, the HD channels covered by the HDTV agreement are Abu Dhabi Drama, Al Oula, Al Emarat, Abu Dhabi Sports 1 and 2 and National Geographic Arabic. Malcolm Wall, CEO at ADM, said “The uptake of HD seems very strong. We’ll be looking at whether to extend that offering to some of our other channels, particularly our sports channels.”

Industry-watchers will also be monitoring the amount broadcasters are paying for carriage on YahSat. Currently the satellite operator is providing carriage free-of-charge in order to generate its strong ‘all-HDTV’ message to viewers in the region already tempted by many hundreds of channels from its local rivals, Arabsat and Nilesat.

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