- In a year of ambitious expansion, Asharq News Network expanded its portfolio to include free-to-view multimedia platform Asharq documentary, Asharq discovery – a free-to-view platform in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and a new suite of audio products including Asharq podcasts and Radio Asharq with Bloomberg.
- Asharq News Network has had an exceptional year of growth securing its position as the fastest growing news platform on social media.
Riyadh, 12 November 2023 – Asharq News Network celebrated its third year of operation this week. The 24/7, multiplatform Arabic news service broadcasts across the Arab world and beyond with news and an in-depth analysis reported through the lens of the economy. Asharq News Network was launched in 2020 with an exclusive content agreement with Bloomberg Media, the business and financial information news leader to broadcast Asharq Business with Bloomberg, airing an average of 10 hours of Business with Bloomberg content daily.
Asharq News and Asharq Business with Bloomberg are the leading Arabic-language business news provider, appealing to business leaders, as well as a younger generation that understands the importance of global economic, financial, and corporate information. The exclusive content agreement provides access to Bloomberg’s extensive financial and economic content, analysis, and market data. The content is delivered through a dedicated television channel, as well as multiple digital platforms, offering continuous insights into the people, events, organizations, and ideas that impact the MENA region and international markets.
Popular programmes include the first business morning show in the Middle East ‘Assabah Maa Cyba’, ‘East Indices’, ‘Aswaq Asharq’, ‘East West’ and the ‘Evening Session’. Programming also includes two weekly business shows that cover energy and technology topics: ‘Taqa Plus’ and ‘Tech Plus’. Asharq News Network also covers specialised topics on dedicated social media accounts such as Asharq Business Sports and Asharq Business Crypto, Asharq Business Technology providing information on global tech trends, Asharq Business Green focusing on climate change, sustainability and green news and Asharq Bloomberg Businessweek appealing to the region’s business audience with a selection of curated Bloomberg Businessweek content, and opinion that offers valuable perspectives on business-related subjects. The specialised topics on digital and social are curated to appeal to the diverse interests of the Arabic-speaking public.
SRMG and Bloomberg Media expanded their content agreement to launch Asharq Quicktake, the Arabic edition of the Quicktake streaming news platform. The platform covers prominent international news, with a focus on business supported by Bloomberg’s data-driven business news. The platform enables viewers to deep-dive into key topics covering business, technology, politics and culture through original programs and news coverage, primarily targeting youth and Arabic-speaking audiences across the MENA region and provides new offerings including original documentaries, news programs, data visualization and live coverage of global events in addition to translated original content from Bloomberg Quicktake.
Asharq News is headquartered in Riyadh, with central offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE, and Washington D.C., and with major hubs and studios in Cairo and Abu Dhabi. It has an extensive network of regional offices and correspondents across key Arab countries and in global capitals, as well as access to the content produced by hundreds of reporters from Bloomberg’s network around the world.
In three short years, Asharq News has established itself as a leading Arabic platform. It is now the fastest growing news channel on social media in the MENA region with 50 million followers across all platforms. Since launch the platform has won over 35 global and regional awards. This year, popular program Assabah Maa Cyba – the morning programme, won Best Economic Programme at the Arab Media Awards and Asharq News won Gold at the MENA Digital Awards for best integrated Digital Campaign.
Following the success of the first three years, this year the Asharq News Network expanded adding two new Free-to-view multi-channel platforms – Asharq Documentary and Asharq Discovery.
Asharq Documentary is an Arabic language free-to-air factual documentary multi-platform, uncovering the stories behind the news headlines. The platform was launched in response to an increasing demand in the region for documentaries – an insight derived from the viewership of the documentaries on Asharq News. Asharq Documentary offers viewers the opportunity to go deeper behind the news headlines and explore topics including politics, business and economics, and history. It offers unique insights and in-depth analysis on the latest trends, events, and influential figures shaping the world today.
Launched in October 2023, Asharq Discovery is a new free-to-view Arabic-language infotainment platform, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery showcasing thousands of hours of premium content from Discovery’s critically acclaimed catalogue, as well as hand-picked acquisitions from all over the region and an exciting line-up of original productions. Asharq Discovery offers authentic Arabic content, bridging the gap between the MENA region and the global stage, while also celebrating the rich tapestry of stories from the region and its vibrant Arabic culture. The strategic intent of Asharq Discovery is to create more original shows that appeal to local audiences.
This year, Asharq News Network also launched a suite of new audio products including Asharq Podcasts and Radio Asharq with Bloomberg in response to the rapidly growing demand on audio platforms locally and regionally. Asharq Podcasts offers new and original content from nine different infotainment podcast programmes focused on business, tech, lifestyle and well-being, documentaries and true stories, news, and current affairs. It features original podcasts such as: ‘Hona Al Qissa’, exploring the leading topics in Saudi Arabia through a journalistic and creative storytelling lens, ‘Behind the Oil’, examining regional and global energy trends, and ‘The Story of a Song’, which delves into the stories behind iconic Arabic tracks.
Radio Asharq with Bloomberg is dedicated to the local Saudi market, covering the latest financial and business sector news, stock markets, trading and investment, banking services, personal finance, and business development insights. With its exceptional business morning news programmes and exclusive interviews with decision makers and market analysts, Radio Asharq with Bloomberg provides entrepreneurs and professionals with essential business insights in a timely manner to help them make informed financial, business, and personal decisions. Asharq Podcasts is available for audiences on all major streaming platforms, including Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube, Anghami, and Google Podcasts. Audiences in Riyadh can listen to Asharq Radio with Bloomberg on the frequency of 101 MHZ, and on 105.70Mhz in Jeddah. The station’s availability in other Saudi cities will be announced at a later stage.
Commenting on the anniversary, Dr. Nabeel AlKhatib, General Manager of Asharq News said: “Asharq has witnessed exceptional growth in audience figures from Asharq News and Asharq Business with Bloomberg. The successful growth is testament to the quality of Asharq platforms. The objective is to meet our audience demands by providing the information they need, in the places they want to view, to inform, inspire and empower decision making. The new free-to-view platforms: Asharq Documentary, Asharq Discovery, and Asharq audio offerings are a natural new phase in Asharq expansion journey.”
SRMG is the largest integrated media group from the MENA region and Asharq News Network is part of SRMG’s ongoing transformation and growth strategy, which seeks to enhance and expand its media portfolio whilst providing support to the region’s wider media, information, and entertainment production ecosystem.