LONDON: British pay-TV company BSkyB is in talks with a private Abu Dhabi investor to launch a round-the-clock Arabic language news channel under the Sky News brand.
The new channel, which could launch within 24 months, would be run as a 50-50 joint venture, providing coverage of news across the Middle East and North Africa and competing with the likes of Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic and Al Arabiya.
English language Sky News is available to viewers around the world but this would be the first wholly international venture for BSkyB.
"The Middle East is undergoing rapid economic and social development and is becoming an increasingly attractive region for media investment," Head of Sky News, John Ryley, said.
"Discussions are progressing well and we look forward to bringing a new approach to Arabic-language news."
BSkyB did not name the potential investor.
BSkyB is 39 percent owned by News Corp and the two sides are in talks after Rupert Murdoch’s company proposed buying the rest of the company it does not already own.