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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Egyptian Broadcasting Law

Arabic version
From the Al Massri Al Youm Newspaper

English version
From the arabmediasociety website

The Algerian Star Academy

Algerian TV (Canal Algerie) will broadcast this Ramadan a religious version of Pan-Arab hit TV show Star Academy (broadcasted by LBC)
The reality TV show entitled "The Knights of the Quran" will feature 16 candidates that will compete for their knowledge and capacity to "tell" the Quran, while living together.
People will vote for their favorite candidates, until the last "prime" where one "Quran Knight" will be selected.

It is interesting to note that Canal Algerie used to broadcast the Lebanese Star Academy (which features Arabic and western dancing as well as sexy girls) but stopped airing the program because it contained "scenes that are against the culture of Islam"

Canal Algerie is owned by the Algerian government. Prime Minister (now resigned) Abed Al Aziz Belkhadem had announced in June that the government would soon launch an Islamic religious channel.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Iran's Al Alam in trouble

Egyptian police raided yesterday Iran's Arabic television's ( Al Alam TV ) offices in Cairo.
The channel (and its Egyptian news editor) is accused by Egyptian police of unlicensed broadcasting, and of helping to produce the "Execution of a Pharaoh" series.

The latter is an Iranian produced series, that reviews the assassination of Egypt's former president Anwar Sadat: the murderers are considered martyrs and the Egyptian president is described as a traitor (for having signed a peace agreement with Israel)

The series strained further more the already very tense relations between Iran and Egypt.

is MTV back ?

Al Akhbar newspaper reported today that MTV (Murr TV, not Music TV) once Lebanon's most hype TV channel, might start broadcasting again...

MTV's story in a glance

Founded by Lebanese politician Gabriel El Murr, and headed by son Michel El Murr, MTV was created to offer a "free alternative" in a very controlled Lebanese media scene (Syria was occupying Lebanon in 2000)

MTV opposed the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and was a mouthpiece for Gabriel El Murr's political ambitions (Mr. Murr was a staunch anti-Syrian politician)

On September 2nd, 2002, the Syrians decided to close the channel (by force)
MTV tried to get back on air in September 2006 (after Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005), but lack of sufficient funds (after the 2006 summer war) prevented its reopening.

Future Prospects

MTV is reopening in order to offer anti Syrian Christians a media outlet (their main competitor - Gnl Michel Aoun - owns Orange TV) for the upcoming 2009 legislative elections.
Problem: Murr's main financial backer - Prince Walid Ben Talal- is already the "real" owner of Lebanon's leading Tv channel LBC

and LBC is itself engaged in a lawsuit againt the main anti-Syrian Christian party: the Lebanese Forces...(if you couldn't follow: it's a mess!!!)

What is sure is that the Lebanese advertising market cannot sustain more TV channels (7, for a market that can probably support only 2 channels) MTV will therefore need political/financial backers...which means; you can kiss independence goodbye!

BUT, the Murr family is also the owner of of the Arab world's largest production facility. The family knows the media business very well, and have proven before that they can attract very creative talent. Will MTV become another OTV ? (much expected, little delivered...) or a new LBC (shake a sleepy market)

to be continued...

Friday, July 11, 2008

414 Arab Satellite TV Channels

The Arab Broadcasting Union announced last week that there was 414 Arab satellite TV Channels, of which:
  • 63 Governmental channels
  • 126 Generalists
  • 76 Music channels
  • 53 "drama" channels
  • 45 Sports channels
  • 25 Business economy channels
  • 21 news channels
  • 21 children channels
  • 15 cultural channels
  • 6 religious channels
  • 3 tourism channels

5-11th July in the Press

- Wissam Hanna joined Future TV in Alam Al Sabah program (Hayat, 5th July 2008)
- Nadine Malah joined Rotana to present Sayidati program (Al Seyassa, 8th July 2008)
- KSA 1 announced its Ramadan 2008 Tv programs (Okaz, 9th July 2008):
SERIES: Aasa Ma Char, Ya Nas Ya howa, Said oua Saida, Ghaltat Nawf, Ibn Kazman
GAMES: a new game presented by Rachad Fkaiha
COOKING: cooking program presented by Dana Nassif and Dana Hamdan
-Rotana Khalijiya and Dream Tv will air the Asmahan series instead of MBC1, after a fight between the production company and the director
- Arabsat launched its Badr 6 satellite (Safir, 10th July 2008)

+ various news and denials on Walid Ben talal acquiring - or not- 85% of LBC Sat