Alarab TV channel halted hours after launch

A new Saudi Arabian pan-Arab news channel has stopped scheduled broadcasting less than 24 hours after going on air from studios in Bahrain.

Alarab TV, owned by billionaire Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, launched with the promise of politically independent news coverage. Alarab said it had stopped for “technical and administrative reasons”. The channel reverted to showing promotional video and said it would be “back soon”.

Bahrain’s information ministry said: “Programming at Al-Arab satellite channel has been temporarily suspended for administrative and technical purposes. The Information Affairs Authority continues to work alongside Al-Arab’s management team in order to swiftly resolve the matter, which is expected to see broadcasting resume shortly.”

Bahrain daily newspaper, Akhbar al-Khaleej, claimed the suspension was due to the channel “not adhering to the norms prevalent in Gulf countries”.

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