The latest EMS Middle East survey, which tracks TV viewership across eight Middle Eastern states and 13 cities, shows that CNN International is the top English-language news channel in the region, topping Al Jazeera English and BBC World News. Al Jazeera’s main Arabic-language network is the most watched news channel overall in the region.
The survey shows that CNNI reached 33.4% of surveyed households in a given month and 21.3% in a given week. By comparison, Al Jazeera English reaches 15.5% of households per month, and 10.5% per week. BBC World news reaches 13% and 9.2%, respectively.
The BBC noted in a statement that it did top CNN in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, however. The BBC was tops overall in Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait.
Most parts of the world–including the Middle East–do not have a company like Nielsen to track TV ratings. As a result surveys such as the EMS Middle East carry greater weight than they would here in the U.S.
“Certain players in this region may feel they have a head start on CNN, but audiences across the Middle East are making it crystal clear that first-rate journalism is what matters,” said Tony Maddox, executive VP of CNNI in a statement. “Audiences here not only trust us to follow the extraordinary stories unfolding on their doorsteps, but also to deliver them a true account of the news from every corner of the world. We’ve made a great commitment to our newsgathering, both in the Middle East and internationally, and these results show – in no uncertain terms – the value of that investment.”