The state-run Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (BSKSA) is responsible for all broadcasting. It operates four TV networks, including news channel al-Ekhbariya. The Minister of Culture and Information chairs the body that oversees TV operations. Private TV stations cannot operate from Saudi soil, but the country is a key market for pan-Arab satellite and pay-TV broadcasters. Saudi investors are behind some of these networks, including Dubai-based MBC and Bahrain-based Orbit. Viewers in the east can pick up TV stations from more liberal Gulf neighbours.
The first phase of digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmission in Saudi Arabia was launched on 11 June 2006, in the main cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, the Arab News reports.