Is Arise News struggling to stay on air?

Arise News, the international news channel from Nigerian media magnate Nduka Obaigbena, appears to be struggling to stay on air, with scheduled programmes replaced by looped repeats and infrequently updated news bulletins.

In the UK, Arise News broadcasts nationally on Sky channel 519 and on Freeview channel 136 in some regions.

During recent weeks, viewers have noticed poor sound quality and lighting issues during some broadcasts and scheduled programmes have been replaced at short or no notice by repeated loops of news, with the output bearing little or no resemblance to the on-screen listings on Sky and Freeview. The Arise News website hasn't been updated since 2nd July, with less frequent activity on Facebook and Twitter over the past month.

Originally located at New Zealand House, the channel recently moved to new studios at Celebro in London's Great Portland Street. This week's Private Eye reports Arise News was "kicked out" because they hadn't paid their bills and appears to be back in their old location.

It's not the first time the channel has been associated with late payments of bills. For the past few years, there have been persistant talk from insiders that journalists and technicans haven't been paid for their services. The first reports came in 2013, shortly after the channel first launched on Sky, when the channel fell off air for several weeks and lost its HD outlet. Since then, the channel has been broadcast solely in standard definition.

The channel continues on air, despite the apparant set-backs. Observation of the channel for a516digital during Thursday confirmed the channel is maintaining regularly updated news bulletins, which are broadcast in a 30 minute loop. The 6pm news bulletin was replaced by another bulletin in the loop at 9pm, which mentioned the takeover of the Financial Times by Japan's Nikkei for the first time, a story that had broken during the afternoon. There are little or no on-screen graphics. Advertising is mainly restricted to commercials by Nigerian banks. It's 10pm entertainment programme which is broadcast from Arise's news hub in the USA was replaced by a "best of" programme. The channel's live stream on its Facebook and internet pages were out of action.

Information about the current status of Arise News is scarce, but in November 2014, BlackRook Media announced it had won a "new contract for 2015 to provide television news, current affairs and entertainment programming for Arise."

Arise News was founded by Nduka Obaigbena, who, according to the official information supplied by Arise at the time "dreamed of a global news channel connecting all the colours and shades of news around the globe." The channel describes itself as "an emerging 24-hour news and entertainment channel brought to you by a diverse team of over 500 world-class journalists, and broadcasters, behind-the-scenes and in front of camera: a team dedicated to offering perspectives seldom given airtime."

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