BBC, CNN clash over Middle East viewers
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CNN and BBC World News have clashed in a war of words over which is the most watched international English language news channel in the Middle East.
While CNN said it had "comprehensively beaten its English language rivals" in the latest EMS Middle East survey, BBC World News claimed it reached more viewers in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
CNN said in a statement that it "decisively outperforms" every international news and entertainment channel across every metric but the BBC said its World News channel attracted more daily viewers.
"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.”
But the BBC said the EMS survey showed that BBC World News had been particularly successful in attracting business decision-makers, the well-educated and high income earners in the Gulf region.
Jim Egan, director of Strategy and Distribution for BBC Global News said: "Audiences across the Middle East are seeking accurate, reliable reporting of events now more than ever, which is why we're so pleased that they are turning to the BBC as their source for English language news on-air and online.
"This a time of tremendous change across the Middle East and the BBC is committed, as it always has been, to delivering audiences high quality, independent and in-depth journalism."
BBC World News, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World News Ltd, a member of the BBC's commercial group of companies.