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Al Sharqiya


  • Al Sharqiya is Iraq's first privately owned satellite channel owned by the London, Baghdad and Dubai-based Iraqi media tycoon Saad al-Bazzaz, a secular nationalist from Mosul

Al Sharqiya facts

  • Al-Bazzaz is also the Editor in Chief of the Azzaman newspaper
  • The station was launched in March 2004 and began regular transmission on 4 May 2004
  • Al Sharqiya now has been gaining a growing audience with its mixture of popular current affairs, satire and Iraq's first reality TV programs
  • The satellite channel with the greatest reach in Iraq, according to a June Ipsos-Stat poll, is the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya with 41 percent reach, followed by private Iraqi satellite channel Al Sharqiya at 40 percent
  • Sharqiya's founder says his current staff of 400 hopes to capture a wide audience by using political comedy and the kind of impartial news coverage unheard of during decades of rule by ousted head of state Saddam Hussein
  • Since its formation in March 2004, the channel has gained a reputation for its humanitarian assistance and charity work which has been aimed at cities all over Iraq
  • As part of a programme called ‘Reputation and Capital’ (Saya’o Surmuiya) Al Sharqiya distributed a number of grants to small-scale projects that assist the needy and disabled around Iraq
  • The distribution of these grants around Iraq were as follows: 39% to Basra, 10% Najaf, 10% Baghdad, 7% Amara, 6%Karbala, 5%Kut, 4% Babylon, 4%Mosul, 3%Nasriya, 3%Kirkuk 5%Other cities
  • The channel’s line up for the holy month of Ramadan, including humanitarian programmes, comedies, dramas, satires, music and religion is widely watched in Iraq
  • Monetary aid dispensed during Ramadan to 90 of the poorest families in Iraq, equated to 1 million dollars in August 2010

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