The release of the USAGM’s Performance Accountability Report (PAR) showed that the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) increased its unduplicated past week audience in Iraq from 10.8 million to 13.3 million between FY20 and FY21. MBN’s growing audience in Iraq accounts for much of the media organization’s overall increase from 27.5 million per week to 31.1 million.
MBN has dedicated television, radio, and digital platforms all targeting Iraq. Alhurra Iraq TV saw the largest jump from 6.2 million past week viewers to 8.5 million, an increase of 37 percent. The network produces a variety of programs that are localized to Iraq, including three daily Iraq-centric newscasts. Other programs include In Iraqi that delves into the most important news item of the day with expert analysis providing insights and new perspectives. Additionally, Alhurra Iraq has shows targeting women and the Iraqi youth, covering life in Erbil, and providing the latest Iraqi sports highlights.
“Iraq is an important market for MBN and we are encouraged to see inroads we have made there as more Iraqis turn to Alhurra Iraq, Sawa Iraq and Irfaasawtak.com for news and information they can trust,” stated MBN Acting President Hassan Shwiki. “We are proud that MBN serves as a resource for accurate and unbiased news, which is especially important following the recent protests and Iraqi elections.”
Other countries where MBN has a substantial audience include Morocco, where it has an unduplicated past week reach of 5.3 million adults (20 percent of the country) and the Palestinian Territories, where MBN reaches 1.5 million adults (50 percent).
The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from USAGM. MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Sawa, radio and its two dedicated streams, one to Iraq and the other to the Levant. It is available via FM throughout these two areas and provides more than 15 hours of news and information daily on each stream.