Every Tribe, A Channel

At last count, there are over 300 TV stations currently broadcasting in the Arab world. Per capita, that's more stations per person than any region in the world.  Here comes another one... Future News

Future News will be launched on Nov. 21 as the wealthy Hariri family expands its media empire, which already comprises satcaster Future TV and the Al-Mostaqbal newspaper.

The 24-hour Arabic-language news channel will air the same day that Lebanon's parliament is set to elect a new president amid a deepening political crisis.

At launch, Future News will operate seven hours a day but plans to be 24/7 by the end of the year, according to project manager Nadim Munla.

Operating on what Munla describes as a modest budget, it will have 250 to 300 employees and correspondents in 10 cities including Beirut, Lebanon; Washington, D.C.; Paris; Tehran, Iran; Gaza City; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Going from one extreme to another, observers can't help wonder, with everyone becoming a broadcaster, who is actually watching all this programming? Furthermore, there is no way most of these stations are making a profit, not with that kind of fragmentation.  So, who is paying the bills for all these modern day soap boxes?

Perhaps a better idea would be to take some of these operation budgets, consolidate efforts and put together quality programming that Arab audiences may want to actually watch..

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About Ramzi Zakharia

Ramzi Zakharia is a Palestinian-American blogger who was born in Beirut and is now based in New York City. He works in the media and advertising sector and has strong insights into both Arab and US media outlets. Ramzi is also very involved in the Arab-American Community and is one of the founders of the Gay and Lesbian Arab Society (GLAS). In addition to politics, his passions include media, new technologies, and the arts. Ramzi lives with his partner and dog in suburban New Jersey.

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