Advanced Television

Saudi Arabia forms broadcasting committee, again

July 31, 2017

By Chris Forrester

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture & Broadcasting has once again formed a special “high committee” to examine the nation’s broadcasting option. Various other attempts have been made over the years to upgrade and improve the country’s TV and radio output in terms of on-air quality.

The intention is to develop the country’s public broadcaster Saudi Broadcasting Corp and its TV and radio services.

Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and information, is heading this development as part of an integrated plan under the nation’s Vision 2030 plan to upgrade all Saudi broadcast facilities.

“The Supreme Committee aims to prepare an integrated development plan in cooperation with local and international companies in the field of media and television,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. “The committee will work to improve content, develop media facilities, train and qualify cadres, and attract Saudi talent in the media field.”

While it is Saudi cash that funds dominant broadcasters such as MBC, the fact is that MBC is based in Dubai, not Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Rashid, a Saudi information technology assistant who lives in Jeddah, told Thomson-Reuters: “The quality of television programs is really bad. All of the programmes are old and too family-oriented to be entertaining or even informative. I think the only people who watch or listen to the Saudi channels are people who don’t have a satellite dish or who are still using a coat hanger as an aerial to catch the signal.”

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