BBG Watch Commentary
Quoting Brian T. Conniff, President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), Adam Clayton Powell III reported in the Center on Public Diplomacy Blog that Alhurra television audience has recently increased. The CPD author did not provide any new audience research data in his article.
“Alhurra television celebrates its ninth anniversary on Feb. 14, with a larger audience and claims of editorial progress.”
“Nine years later, Alhurra’s audience has grown, programs originate from new studios in Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut and Dubai, and its live news coverage of the Egyptian revolution two years ago has been recognized by major awards.”
SEE: “Alhurra turns nine, claims editorial progress, larger audience,” Adam Clayton Powell III, February 13, 2013.
Previous audience research by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) shows that Alhurra has lost some of its audience in 2012. BBG’s data for 2011 did not show Alhurra among top ten stations in Iraq and Egypt. Alhurra has not become a major media player in the Middle East.
Clayton Powell III quotes Brian T. Conniff, President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Alhurra’s U.S.-taxpayer-funded parent company, as saying that after peaking two years ago, Alhurra’s audience numbers “bounced around a lot.” According to Conniff, the latest BBG research in October showed the number of viewers was increasing. Conniff called it “a respectable audience.” The article did not disclose any new data.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 noted the loss of audience for Alhurra in FY 2012, but Conniff may have been referring to new research data obtained after the PAR Report had been published.
MBN (Alhurra) – Target: 27.0 million Actual: 22.9 million
Alhurra’s weekly audience declined in 2012, due primarily to changes in Egypt. The decline in weekly reach in Egypt is attributable to a proliferation of local TV content since the Egyptian revolution and the emergence of new TV stations. Egyptians greatly preferred local stations this year for their in-depth coverage of the country’s political developments. Past week reach for most 24 hour news stations—including Al Jazeera—declined sharply.