If Westerners think of Arab television at all, they usually presume that al-Jazeera is the only one, but Kraidy (communication, U. of Pennsylvania) and Khalil (Southern Illinois U.-Carbondale) say that the renown of the one channel obscures the breadth and rich diversity of the industry. They show how its growth is driven a handful of leading institutions that differ in institutional identity, political perspective, and commercial agenda. Among the aspects they examine are pan-Arab entertainment channels, niche channels and socio-cultural change, new channels, Ramadan, and television policy and regulation in the Arab world. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In recent years, Arab television has undergone a dramatic and profound transformation from terrestrial, government-owned, national channels to satellite, privately owned, transnational networks. The latter is the Arab television that matters today, economically, socially and politically. The resulting pan-Arab industry is vibrant, diverse, and fluid - very different, the authors of this major new study argue, from the prevailing view in the West, which focuses only on the al-Jazeera network. Based on a wealth of primary Arabic language sources, interviews with Arab television executives, and the authors' personal and professional experience with the industry, Arab Television Industries tells the story of that transformation, featuring compelling portraits of major players and institutions, and captures dominant trends in the industry. Readers learn how the transformation of Arab television came to be, the different kinds of channels, how programs are made and promoted, and how they are regulated. Throughout, the analysis focuses on the interaction of the television industry with Arab politics, business, societies and cultures.