London-based Livestation, a portal which streams linear news programming from broadcasters, including the BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, and a number of Arabic-language programs, including Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, France 24 Arabic, has seen a huge spike in traffic to its site since unrest in the Middle East erupted in January.

CEO Matteo Berlucchi told Beet.TV in an email that traffic has surged with 50 million video views over the past eight weeks, up 560 percent over the same period last year.  A great deal of traffic is coming from the Middle East, via the Arab language services.

Live From Japan, Just in Time

In something of a remarkable coincidence, Japan's public broadcaster's English service NHK World went live on Livestation on Friday, the day the earthquake struck. Views are trending up, Burlucci says.

Livestation shares revenues with broadcasters on its site. Unfortunately, here in the United States, a number of sites, including the BBC and CNBC are geo-blocked. NHK works fine in the U.S.

In March in London, I interviewed Berlucchi about the company. We spoke in the offices of The Guardian Newspaper. We have republished our interview.

Andy Plesser


 

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