Saudi Research and Marketing Group to launch ‘Bloomberg Al-Arabiya’ network

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Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) today said it has entered a long-term agreement with US-headquartered media firm Bloomberg to launch a multi-platform Arabic-language business and financial news service.

SRMG — publisher of Asharq Al-Awsat, Arab News and Aleqtisadiah — plans a 24-hour television and radio network and dedicated digital platform under the “Bloomberg Al-Arabiya” brand.

According to a statement issued by the group on the Saudi Stock Exchange website, the agreement is worth $9 million (approximately 33.750 million Saudi riyals) for licensing per year for the duration of 10 years; SRMG Group will finance the project from its own sources.

Under the agreement, the Saudi Research and Marketing Group will launch a new television and radio network, an integrated digital portal, the publication of Bloomberg Business Week in Arabic, in addition to a new series of related conferences.

Bloomberg is a global leader in news, media and financial services. The financial impact of the agreement is expected to reflect on Saudi Arabia's research budget for the fourth quarter of 2017.

It will also publish “Bloomberg Businessweek” magazine in Arabic and launch a new conference and live events series, according to a statement from the company.

The Bloomberg Al-Arabiya platforms will provide Arabic-speaking audiences around the world with news and analysis on the companies, markets, economies and politics shaping the Middle East, the statement said.

Prince Bader bin Abdullah Al-Saud, chairman of SRMG, said the deal would give a boost to the regional media industry.

“We are very pleased with this promising partnership with Bloomberg. In addition to the many business opportunities this collaboration brings, we believe the partnership will greatly enhance the media landscape in our region,” he said.

“This is an exciting development for SRMG and a strong progression in our quest to offer the highest quality financial and business journalism from, and about the Middle East.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg and former mayor of New York City, said, “The Middle East is an important, economically diverse region and our agreement with SRMG allows us to deliver the sharpest global business and financial insights to a critical audience of business decision makers.”

Headquartered in the Gulf, the Bloomberg Al Arabiya team will be managed by SRMG with support from Bloomberg, and will draw on its financial and economic content and data as well as its 2,700 reporters and analysts globally.

“Our partnership with SRMG is a significant milestone in our regional growth story, building on the introduction of an expanded suite of new media platforms in the Middle East last year,” said Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group. “This agreement is an integral part of our strategy of forming partnerships with leading news providers in markets that have a compelling economic growth story, as we look to further expand our localized international presence.”

Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, managing director and CEO of SRMG, said: “As one of the biggest media publishing houses in the Middle East, this partnership between SRMG and Bloomberg will see us expand into the international television business. With the new era of business and economic transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such a significant agreement between two leading brands will pave the way for a multi-platform ecosystem of specialized business and financial content of international standards. This is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of media and publishing in the region.”

Bloomberg editor in chief John Micklethwait said: “Bloomberg Al Arabiya will enable us to build on more than 20 years of newsgathering across the Arab world to deliver the best of Bloomberg’s news, insight and analysis.”

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