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Saturday, April 18, 2009


In the battle between MBC Group and Fox Middle East (part of the Rotana/LBC network) MBC just scored a major deal. It acquired the rights to broadcast first the Warner Bros series for the seasons 2009-2011.

This deal will enable MBC2 (English movies) and MBC Action (Series) to continue the current edge they have over new comers Fox Series and Fox Movies.

For viewers this is a great deal, as the series will be broadcasted Free To Air.

That said, when Fox Middle East will get back the rights to the Fox Studios (currently held by MBC) the battle is bound to heat up between the two groups. A little bit of competition, can only be great for viewers.

Finally, I was watching the Simpsons yesterday on Fox Series, and I am appalled by the huge number of advertising breaks (all for teh same advertiser: Sedar curtains) Even worst, these breaks always happen in the middle of a conversation between two characters. If Fox wants to compete in the Middle East, they gonna have to work on these issues

Thursday, April 9, 2009

TV Advertising

A report I saw this morning on "Digital Production Middle East"'s website:

TV advertising spend in the Middle East and African (MEA) region is projected to increase 25 percent from 2008 to 2013, despite expectations the current economic downturn will extend well into 2010.

The assessment is one of the key findings of Informa Telecom’s TV International report, published Tuesday.
The projection places the MEA region ahead of all others worldwide, with revenues expected to grow from just over US$10 billion in 2008 to almost US$13 billion in 2013.
In contrast, North America is expected to suffer a contraction in TV advertising revenues of around seven percent from 2008 to 2010, before rebounding over the course of the following three years to post growth of around nine percent on 2008 levels in 2013, equating to more than $46 billion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First comments on MTV

Yesterday MTV resumed broadcast with a very emotional program on how the channel was closed in 2002.

The evening was dedicated to announcing all the new programs. Well by announcing, I mean announcing "when possible" the new grid. Many of the presenters featured last night, admitted they did not know when their program will run!

That said, I think the grid is quite interesting. The channel will broadcast a series of locally made documentaries (which other Lebanese channels do not do a lot) and documentaries have proven to be (if targeting social and economic problems) to be able to capture a certain number of audiences.

The channel is clearly influenced by French TV programming, and is (in my humble opinion) trying to emulate M6's strategy in France. M6 went on air years ago to compete with TF1 (France's leading channel) and has managed with daring head to head programming to challenge TF1' supremacy (though TF1 remains number 1) TF1's equivalent in Lebanon is LBC...

...and LBC's most emblematic program is Kalam Al Nass (Thursday evenings) MTV has programed in front of it "Talk of Town" (i think that is the name) a French format, owned in the Middle East by Peri Cochin. This format (previously tried by New Tv) is a socio-political talk show with many guests. Its main feature is that is mixes humour, politics, social etc...I have seen the French version, and it was very successful. So I am eagerly waiting for this showdown.

PS: MTV's Thursday feature starts at 20h30, vs. 21h30 for Kalam Al Nass (LBC runs at 20h30 the also very successful comedy Bass Mat Watan) . MTV's program is long enough to compete with both.