Orbit Communications Company
|Former type||Satellite television|
|Fate||Merged with Showtime Arabia into Orbit Showtime|
|Products||Direct broadcast satellite and Satellite Internet|
|Owner(s)||Privately owned by Mawarid Holding [via Digital Media Systems]|
Orbit Communications Company was a privately owned Pay TV network, operating in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Owned by Saudi Arabia-based Mawarid Holding (via Digital Media Systems), it was the first fully digital, multi-channel, multi-lingual, pay television service in the Middle East and North Africa and was also the world first fully digital TV network. Orbit broadcast in several languages around the world including English, Arabic and Filipino. On 12 July 2009 the company announced its merger with Showtime Arabia into Orbit Showtime.
Orbit had launched 4 multi-function interactive decoders:
This allowed the following features:
- 2-level parental control (Channel & Rating).
- 7-day bilingual electronic program guide.
- 22 radio channels of music & news & entertainment.
- Arabic subtitles & multi-lingual audio on selected channels.
Orbit Channel Lineup
- Marhaba TV
- ShowCinema TVMAX Promo
- Arabic Channels:
- Pay Per View:
- ShowCinema TVMAX 1 - Channel 90
- ShowCinema TVMAX 2 - Channel 91
- ShowCinema TVMAX 3 - Channel 92
Orbit ESPN's Disappearance
On 1 April 2008, after being on the air since 1994, Orbit ESPN disappeared from the Orbit lineup. This left Orbit without coverage of the NCAA, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the National Football League, NASCAR, major golf and tennis tournaments, and the premier action sports franchise in the world, ESPN's X Games.
One of the reasons that break the contract with ESPN is the severe financial problems happened at that time, since 1999-2000 the production graph line has been moved down. In 2009, a major delay in paying salaries for orbit employees in Egypt, Lebanon and KSA for more than 4 months.
BBC Arabic Television
On 21 April 1996, after 2 years on air, Orbit Communications Corporation, owned by Khalid bin Abdullah pulled the plug on BBC Arabic Television after the BBC broadcast an episode of Panorama that was critical of the Saudi Arabian government. Many of the staff who worked for the original BBC Arabic Television service went on to work for Al-Jazeera television.
Showtime Arabia Merger
New customers can subscribe to packages featuring Showtime Arabia's and Orbit Communications Company's programs, while existing subscribers will be able to either retain or upgrade their content. The company will offer HD channels, video on demand and other interactive services.
- Zawya - Mawarid Holding
- Zawya - Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network
- Newlywed in Dubai
- Orbit and ESPN International renew programming distribution agreement
- Fandy, Mamoun (January 1999). "Saudi Opposition between Globalization and Localization". Comparative Studies in Society and History 41 (1): 124–147. doi:10.1017/s0010417599001899. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- The Failed Dream that led to Al Jazeera
- Chiba Yushi (February 2012). A Comparative Study on the Pan-Arab Media Strategies: The Cases of Egypt and Saudi Arabia 5 (1&2). Retrieved 13 February 2014.