FremantleMedia International completes momentous multi-year, multi-format deal with MBC Group

MUMBAI – FremantleMedia International has completed a landmark multi-year deal with pan-Arab media conglomerate, MBC Group. The agreement will see the renewal of both the pan-Arab versions of Idol and Got Talent for three more seasons. In addition, MBC Group has taken the pan-Arab format rights to the Syco TV which created the hit entertainment format, The X Factor and the globally renowned fashion competition, Project Runway. These two shows will also be commissioned for three seasons each.


FremantleMedia International SVP Middle East, Africa and South Eastern Europe Anahita Kheder said: “We are immensely proud to be the first company to have completed a deal of this magnitude with MBC Group. Together we have already launched the very successful pan-Arab versions of Arabs Got Talent and Arab Idol; both of which were propelled onto the international press stage. The Middle East region has evolved a great deal in recent years with audiences wanting something a little special, and with the introduction of The X Factor and Project Runway, MBC will deliver just that. We are enormously excited to continue our partnership with MBC to introduce more future audience favorites to its enormous Middle Eastern reach.”


MBC Group TV director Ali Jaber said: “MBC is always keen on delivering premium content coupled with the best TV productions in the MENA region. With the introduction of global formats, such as Idol and Got Talent, amongst others, a couple of years ago, they soon became top-rated TV shows and have created unprecedented engagement with the audiences on multi-platforms.” Jaber added: “It only makes sense that we renew our contracts with FremantleMedia - thus keeping the momentum of these formats at its peak.


We are delighted with this partnership that helps to bring the best TV global practices to our region while allowing our own creative teams to excel, deliver and succeed.”


Arab Idol became immensely popular in 2013 with Mohammed Assaf, a former wedding singer from Gaza, winning the competition in the second season. The MENA region united as Assaf’s finale performance generated viewership over five times higher than the broadcaster average. The Idol format, co-owned by FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, has now been produced in 51 territories worldwide.


Arabs Got Talent’s third season made international headlines when Syrian dancing troupe, SIMA, was declared the winner in the competition. The Arabic version of the format became MBC4’s number one show in both 2012 and 2013 consecutively. Co-owned by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia, the global Got Talent phenomenon officially became the Guinness World Records’ most successful reality TV format worldwide in April this year and has now been commissioned in 65 territories worldwide.


MBC’s remarkable list of programs will be enhanced by the addition of the international singing competition, The X Factor for the very first time. The pan-Arab version will take the format to 51 territories internationally. While the format is owned and created by The Syco Entertainment, it is also co-produced and licensed by FremantleMedia worldwide. Since the launch of The X Factor UK in 2004, the British-born TV show has been watched by more than 360 million people around the world and can be seen in almost every country on earth. The X Factor format has discovered and launched more international break-out artists than any other singing competition show, with more than 160 million record sales by The X Factor artists globally.


The fashion reality series, Project Runway on MBC will also showcase its first pan Arab version. The program gives aspiring fashion designers the chance of a lifetime as they compete through a string of demanding challenges to have their collection shown at a major catwalk show. The winner also gets featured in a leading fashion magazine. The Weinstein Company owned, Project Runway has become the most successful fashion format worldwide having been produced in 23 territories including the US, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the UK.


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