Ramadan stock image, June 2017 – Pixababy/john1cse
CAIRO – 29 April 2018: Saudi Arabia is planning to launch a specialized channel dedicated solely for Arabic drama this Ramadan, titled the Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) Channel.
It is an unusual move for the state broadcaster, and the channel is reportedly set to replace the "R" culture channel. The news was announced by Dawood Al-Shoryan, president of SBC.
This decision is likely part of Saudi Arabia's developing plans to expand and focus on its entertainment industry as part of the 2020 vision to reduce its economic dependency on oil. As Saudi Arabians already spend $22 billion annually on entertainment activities abroad, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman plans to invest over $64 billion in Saudi Arabia’s local entertainment sector, according to Rapid TV News.
Marketing and advertising is already underway for the upcoming channel, which is the first ever campaign in Saudi Arabia to promote a TV channel. The channel is planned to become a large hub to bring together the finest large-scale Arab productions.
In order to promote the channel further, actor Adel Imam will star in the Ramadan series “Awalem Khafeya” (Invisible Worlds), set to debut on SBC, while Saudi actor Abdullah Al-Sadhan will be in the Ramadan series “Bedoon Filter” (Without Filter), which is another original series from SBC. In addition, Hassan Usseiri, Fayes Al-Malky and Rashid Al-Shamrany are all set to star in a series called "Share Chat", according to Egypt Independent.