London based Ashark Al Awssat reported on Thursday 5 June that Silvio Berlusconi (Italy's prime minister) is investing in the Arab media.
Berlusconi's media arm Mediaset teamed up with Tunisian businessmen (Tareq Ben Ammar, Nabil Qorawi, Ghazi Qorawi - owners of Nessma TV) The partnership aims at selling Italian content to Arab (especially North African) TV channels.
It is not clear if the deal includes Nessma TV.
What is sure is that the rush to provide and create content for Arab TV channels is still on, and Berlusconi's flair is usually quite strong when it comes to media investments.
I think Italian programs can be quite successful in the Arab world:
- culturally, Italy is quite close to North African countries and to the Levant
- physically, Italians are look alike of their Mediterranean neighbors
- Italian women "sell" always very well (no sexisms intended)
- Italians are big on entertainment and well developed games. Expect some format adaptations in the Middle East
remember the Brazilian and Mexican telenovelas ?