Discovery Communications has partnered with Image Nation to launch an Arabic-language, free-to-air TV channel to serve the growing Middle East and North Africa market. Quest Arabiya will launch in the final quarter of this year.
The channel will feature male-oriented factual and reality programs with a combination of locally produced original material and localized content from Discovery’s pipeline of non-fiction shows. It is aimed primarily at Arab men between the ages of 16 and 44, but the material will also appeal to the entire family. The key programming genres will include adventure and survival, motoring, engineering, wildlife, history, and people and places. Carl von Doussa, general manager of channels at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, will lead the new channel. Discovery has the option to acquire Image Nation’s content for broadcast on its international channels around the world.
Operating from an office in the UAE, Discovery offers a portfolio of TV channels, which includes free-to-air network Fatafeat, as well as pay TV networks Discovery Channel HD, TLC HD, Animal Planet HD, Discovery Science HD, ID: Investigation Discovery and Discovery World, distributed on OSN. Fatafeat, the number one food network in the Middle East, is present in 55 million TV households in the region and in Saudi Arabia it is the fourth most-watched channel among women 20-44, and third among all women in the time period between noon and 6 p.m. Discovery Channel is one of the most successful international TV channels in Middle East amongst affluent adults, and ranks as the top factual channel based on weekly reach, Discovery said.
“Quest Arabiya will be a leading destination for men’s lifestyle entertainment in the Middle East and North Africa,” said James Gibbons, exec VP for Discovery’s emerging business. “Discovery’s global success is based on building strong local teams and looking for new opportunities in key markets. We have a dedicated team based in the UAE and a track record of providing high-quality brands and programs that nourish viewers in the region for more than 16 years. Our partnership with Image Nation will help take our business to the next level, broaden the popularity of factual entertainment, and raise awareness of our seven channel brands in the region.”
“In partnering with Discovery to launch a new TV channel in the Middle East, we are doing what Abu Dhabi does best – marrying world-class expertise with regional knowledge,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation Abu Dhabi. “Quest Arabiya will provide a needed boost to the private media sector in the UAE as we will be commissioning more content than ever before and producing at the highest international standards.”