Less than two months after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, Fox Networks is partnering with a Saudi Arabian government-owned media company, CNN Business reports. Fox is partnering with the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), the Middle East’s largest broadcaster, in an effort to bring its streaming service Fox Plus to the region.
Via MBC’s Shahid Plus platform, the newly founded streaming service will be available in 24 countries total, and subscribers will pay $4.99 a month to access English and Arabic language content.
“New services are coming up every day. We have just seen the tip of the iceberg,” General Manager at Fox Networks Group Sanjay Raina announced in a statement. The announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering that Fox joined dozens of American news outlets and business leaders in boycotting a Riyadh investment conference in an act of supposed revolt amid speculation that the country’s leadership ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, as per NBC News.
Khashoggi was killed on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. U.S. officials — the CIA included — said that the brutal murder had to have been approved by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself, according to BBC. The vast majority of the American public appears to have denounced the brutal regime, calling for a halt on arms sales, but President Donald Trump remains one of the few individuals willing to defend it.
“They have feelings certain ways. I have the report, they have not concluded, I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to conclude the crown prince did it,” President Trump recently told reporters. “But whether he did or whether he didn’t, he denies it vehemently. His father denies it, the king, vehemently.” Fox Networks appears to be sticking with Trump.
Jamal Khashoggi’s murder may have opened the eyes of the American public to the brutalities of the Saudi regime, but those familiar with the Yemen war have been calling on Western leaders to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Fifty thousand children are believed to have died in Yemen in 2017 alone, according to Chicago Tribune, and more than 20 million people are in dire need of assistance. In total, the Yemen war has killed 10,000 and displaced 3 million people.
In spite of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and as the Yemen war continues on, President Donald Trump remains faithful to his Saudi partner, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and chooses his words carefully when talking about the regime. In a recent press briefing, according to the Washington Post, Trump called Saudi Arabia an “important ally” of the United States.
Much like Trump, Fox Networks appears adamant to maintain old partnerships and establish new ones.
“It’s very important as a content company to have a foot in the door into that world,” General Manager at Fox Networks Group Sanjay Raina concluded.