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19 Feb, 2015 13:41


MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 19, 2015 – RT’s Arabic-language news channel has higher daily audience in six MENA countries than UK’s BBC Arabic and Sky News Arabia, US’ Al Hurra and China’s CCTV in Arabic, placing it among the top three most watched news channels in the surveyed states. In Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Iraq RT Arabic is watched by 6.7 million viewers every day.

Eighteen percent of all residents in these six countries have watched RT at least once, making up 18.2 million people. Approximately 11.5 million – or 11% – of those are estimated to have watched the channel during the previous month, which puts RT ahead of Deutsche Welle Arabic, CCTV Arabic, France 24 Arabic, Al Alam News, and Sky News Arabia.

Among the surveyed countries, RT demonstrated the best performance in Iraq: its daily viewership there makes up about 44% of the country’s population. Here RT is also ahead of BBC Arabic, Sky News, France 24, Deutsche Welle, CCTV, Al Hurra and Al Alam News. RT’s audience in the country is also the most loyal compared to all competing channels: 98% of weekly viewers watch the channel daily, vs. 93% of Al Arabiya, 85% of Al Jazeera, 66% of Al Hurra and 64% of BBC Arabic viewers. Remarkably, of all Iraqis who have ever watched RT, 100 percent watched it over the past month.

RT also ranks number one in terms of viewer trust. Only three percent of those, who are aware of the channel, but do not watch it, cited mistrust of RT’s news reports as a reason for not watching the channel. This rate was 30% for Al Jazeera, 9% for Al Arabiya, 6% for the BBC Arabic, 8% for Al Hurra, and 6% for Sky News Arabia.

According to the study, 30% of RT Arabic’s monthly audience in Egypt like the channel for its “relevant and reliable news reports,” while 20% in the UAE and 14% in Saudi Arabia like it for its “alternative opinions,” and being “distinct from other networks.”

Another remarkable statistic is that 59% percent of RT Arabic’s audience watch it for more than an hour a day on weekdays, while 38% of its viewers watch the channel for more than an hour a day on weekends. RT is similarly ahead of all its competitors in the region by its daily-to-weekly viewership conversion ratio: 74% percent of RT’s weekly audience watch the channel over last one day.

The study also shows that 57% of RT’s monthly audience in the six surveyed counties are either top managers, mid-level or junior executives of companies and organizations as well as professionals and office workers (according to the social status system NRS corresponds to socio-economic classes A, B and C1). Here RT also leads vis-a-vis the competition: these types of viewers make up 56% of the audience of Sky News, 54% of Al Alam News and 45% of CCTV. RT also boasts the largest share of audience between the ages of 25 and 34 – 30%.

Compared to the Nielsen’s 2010 study, RT’s monthly audience has grown by 2.18 million people across Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE. RT’s monthly viewership in Egypt has shown the largest growth, increasing by 112 percent and surpassing the growth exhibited by Al Hurra, Al Alam News, Al Arabiya, and Al Jazeera over the same period.

Results of Nielsen Arab Study conducted in July-August 2014. The survey involved more than 5500 Arabic-speaking viewers of news on TV over the age of 18 (male and female, all socio-economic classes). Channels surveyed were RT Arabic, BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia, France 24 Arabic, Deutsche Welle Arabic, CCTV in Arabic, Al Hurra and Al Alam News. Countries surveyed were Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Iraq. 2010 Nielsen study surveyed TV audience in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon.