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Sounds of Saudi
A more liberal and competitive radio market in KSA offers a wide range of opportunities for marketers.
April 18, 2010 3:15 by Rania Habib
“Listeners need a greater variety of channels,” says El Beik. “This is what incited us to be a part of the competing companies, particularly when the media sector in the kingdom is going through a lot of changes and developments to go international. Media officials in the ministry are pushing to grant the private sector a proper opportunity to fulfill its potential and add value to the broadcasting business both locally and internationally.”
As part of the process the Ministry has offered to buy the land and erect the antennas required for the new stations, and Firas Khashman, general manager of emerging business at Rotana, says that he believes the infrastructure will be set up in less than six months. “We are ready to broadcast tomorrow, because we have our studios set up in Lebanon,” says Khashman. “So if they give us the frequencies we can start broadcasting immediately.”
Khashman says the process may have taken a long time to roll out, but this is a breakthrough in the kingdom. “It takes a long time to get the regulations and right laws in place, but fortunately we are here now,” he says.
Dr. Najem says that censorship will be carried out by radio channels themselves, and that the ministry will not interfere with the quality of the programs. Though he adds that, “When live coverage is conducted for some events, certain arrangements will be agreed upon between the Ministry and the radio channels.”