Sky News Arabia launched May 6 as it began broadcasting from headquarters in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Available to 50 million homes across the region, the network promises to ‘challenge the status quo’ while also respecting its new audience.
The launch gained significant attention in the international media. Some questioned the amount of independence the network would enjoy, while others celebrated the new channel as a symbolic moment of opening up the region's media.
The channel's lead story was the French presidential election, with live coverage from the home of Francois Hollande, followed by a report on Syrian refugees on the Syria-Turkish border.
Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between BskyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. Some 400 staff are working across 12 bureax to provide 24-hours coverage.
Here are a few of the quotes gathered from reports published in recent days:
“While it may be too early to label the channel's arrival as a minor revolution, it points to an evolution of the Middle Eastern news coverage driven by technology and manipulated by politics.”
“Amidst expectations that tough competition will arise in the coming years due to the great influence of the media, launching Sky News Arabia from the Abu Dhabi aims to focus on content-based news and coverage that satisfies the viewers.”
“The newcomer faces a sceptical reception. Regional rivals who have risen and prospered over the past decade have constantly touted the same virtues. Just as vehement has been the retort from those on the wrong end of the established networks' coverage; viewers and broadcasters alike say true independence remains elusive in this part of the world.”
“...The new network will have editorial oversight. Roger Alton, the executive editor of the News Corp.-owned Times of London, and Chris Birkett, the executive editor of Sky News, will sit on the a six-person editorial advisory board.”
Promising objective and impartial news delivery, Dr Al Jaber (chairman of Abu Dhabi Media and Investment Corp and Sky News Arabia) said: "The region demanded an Arab news product which incorporates both the technological developments and the fast changing media consumption habits that are transforming how news is gathered and disseminated.
"Our market research uncovered a strong appetite from Arab audiences for a high calibre, independent news channel which delivers news in real time and across multiple media platforms, be they high definition television sets, the internet, smartphones or tablets."