RAI adding Arabic-language net


ROME -- Italian state broadcaster RAI is planning to unveil a new limited channel broadcasting in Arabic -- Italy's first -- as a way to gain a foothold among the country's growing Arabic-speaking population, RAI News 24 Director Corradino Mineo said Tuesday.

The channel, which will be called RAI Med, will start out with a limited schedule, broadcasting weekdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. local time. But RAI said that, if it is successful, programming could be extended.

RAI Med will focus on news programs and features that relate to Italy, the Mediterranean region and Arabic-speaking countries. Some of the programming will be based on Italian-language programming from RAI journalists.

The RAI Web site also will carry news programming written in Arabic, the company said.