First Arab comedy channel denies allegations it was shutting down

July 5, 2010

Funoon Television, the first Arabic-language comedy channel, has denied media reports that high running costs were forcing it to shut down.

The Kuwait-based channel founded in 2006 by Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussain Abdulredha, its owner and director was reacting to a report posted by a news website quoting information ministry sources as saying that the channel head had filed a request to close.

“There is no intention to close the channel whatsoever,” Hamad Abdallah, head of the channel’s production division, said. “I heard the news and I do not know on what basis the news was made.”

Sources inside the United National Media Company, the media corporation that owns the channel, said that management had considered closing the Funoon Plus channel, a delayed version of the channel broadcast on Arabsat satellite, Kuwait Times reported.

Sources attributed the decision to high broadcasting costs and the small number of viewers of the channel.

“The same content is broadcast via Nilesat and few people watch the channel on Arabsat. There was a plan a few months ago to close Funoon Plus and maybe even Adalah Two,” the paper said, quoting unnamed sources.

However, Hamad denied the reports as “baseless rumors,” and assured that the management of the corporation has not planned to close the channel.

“As a media corporation, we are stable and we are not facing any difficulty. All of our channels are working properly and there are no plans to close any channel,” he said.

According to Kuwait Times, the news raises questions about the way local media deals with rumours.

The media industry in Kuwait witnessed a boom following amendments made to both the press and publication law and to the audio-visual law, in 2006 that allowed the establishment of dozens of privately-owned TV channels and 17 newspapers.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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