Hours after it goes on air from Bahrain, pan-Arab news channel halts broadcasting

A new pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince has stopped broadcasting just hours after it went on air from the tiny island nation of Bahrain.

The Alarab television station said on its official Twitter feed on Monday that it halted coverage for "technical and administrative reasons" and hopes to be back on the air soon.

The channel is backed by Saudi royal family member Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. It went live on Sunday afternoon.

It surprised many viewers by featuring Bahraini prominent opposition activist Khalil al-Marzooq as one of its first guests. The island kingdom has faced years of unrest following widespread anti-government protests in 2011.

Bahraini government officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the channel's operations.