MBC to launch new content subsidiary for MENA
21 September 2018
Saudi-owned media company MBC has launched a new subsidiary to produce premium films, television and on-demand content, aimed at audiences both within the Middle East and around the globe, Rapidtvnews reported. Building upon existing production assets O3 Productions, AlSadaf in Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s O3 Medya, MBC Studios plans to increase its focus on film and TV drama series that could prove popular in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and which could be marketed across the world.
Heading MBC’s new subsidiary as managing director is Peter Smith, whose previous roles include president of International Home Entertainment at Universal Pictures International; president of NBC Universal International; and CEO Scripted Business at Cineflix Productions Worldwide.
The initiative would contribute to the growth of the film and TV industry in Saudi Arabia, in line with the USD 64 billion investment planned for the country’s entertainment sector by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s government. MBC Studios would also help accelerate the recruitment of local Saudi and Middle-Eastern talent in various content industries, which dominates free-to-air broadcasting in the Arab world, the company said.
MBC is now thought to be majority controlled by Saudi authorities, with the remainder owned by founder and chairman Waleed Al-Ibrahim.