Al Waleed arrested in Saudi corruption crackdown

21st Century Fox shareholder and Rotana Media owner Prince Al Waleed bin Talal was among senior Saudi Arabian figures arrested in Riyadh at the weekend as part of an apparent corruption crackdown ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Al Waleed was the most high-profile of the 30-odd individuals detained in the luxurious Riyadh Ritz-Carlton on Saturday night and Sunday morning on the orders of the Crown Prince, who is in the midst of initiating a major reform programme in the country.

The multi-billionaire Al Waleed, who is seen as a supporter of the reformist Prince Mohammed and whose arrest surprised many observers, has interests spanning media and technology, with a significant stake in 21st Century Fox. He is also the owner of Rotana, the Saudi entertainment conglomerate that operates a number of TV channels that are distributed throughout the Middle East.

Rotana, which operates TV channels including Fox Movies, Fox, Rotana Cinema and classic movie channel Rotana Zaman, last month launched a new drama channel, named Rotana Drama, tapping into the growing interest in drama across a region that has seen an upsurge in home-produced series over the last year.