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Free-to-air MTV Arabia set for launch

Dubai, October 28, 2007

MTV Arabia, the region's first Arabic free-to-air youth entertainment and lifestyle channel, goes on air at 12midnight on November 17, 2007 on Nilesat (Channel 14) and Arabsat (Channel 24).

The channel is expected to reach a potential audience of 190 million people across the Middle East.

The channel will showcase the entire region's latest trends in youth entertainment, with a mix of music and lifestyle shows that include original, Arabic productions and MTV's globally popular series like Cribs, Pimp My Ride and Total Request Live (MTV US), said an official spokesman.

On the music front, MTV Arabia will also be the region's first media platform to embrace the world of hip hop, highlighting emerging Arabic hip hop talent for the first time and tapping into the massive popularity of the international hip hop culture across the Middle East.

The channel will feature a 60-40 per cent mix of international and Arabic music videos - representing more international music videos than ever previously screened in the region.

'MTV Arabia will mark a new era for youth entertainment in the Middle East,' said CEO of Arab Media Group Abdullatif al Sayegh.

'MTV Arabia aims to raise the standard for all youth-related media and we are hoping to lead in the emergence of more publications, increased radio activity and concerts that also cater to young people and act as platforms of self-expression for them.  Since young people represent 65 per cent of the population in the Middle East, it's time they were heard,' he added.

'MTV Arabia is a fresh take on MTV the brand, made by Arabs for Arab youth, and is dedicated to their self-expression. We've done extensive research to listen to our audiences, and MTV Arabia will be the first free-to-air channel to celebrate young people and their lives and talents from across this dynamic, vibrant region,' said MTV Arabia's general manager Patrick Samaha.

'We'll also offer audiences a window to the world of global youth culture, bringing top international entertainment to the region and showcasing the Arab region in the context of what's happening around the world. Through MTV's global network, we'll also be able to export Arabic music and culture to the international stage,' Samaha added.

MTV Arabia's programming line-up includes a number of local productions which will air from launch. The flagship local show is Hip Hop Na, a 12-episode series which follows auditions to uncover the best local hip hop acts in four different Middle Eastern cities.

One winner from each city will have the chance to record a track that will feature on a Hip Hop Na compilation CD, produced by hosts Don Legend of KSA's Jeddah Legends and Fred Wreck, an acclaimed producer who has worked with some of the biggest hip hop performers in the music industry, including 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

The channel also allows viewers to connect with the music and artists they love. In Waslati, viewers with webcams become VJs and introduce three of their favourite videos. Baqbeeq is a music trivia show with a twist, where interesting and hilarious bits of trivia pop up through the most popular videos in the world.

Introducing Block goes behind-the-scenes in the music industry, with exclusive interviews and performances by the biggest international and Arab stars.

Outside of music, the channel will feature inspiring and hilarious Arabic versions of MTV programmes that are popular internationally. Al Helm, based on MTV's Made format, follows the journey of aspiring teenagers looking to fulfill their dreams with the help of an MTV Arabia-supplied 'coach.'

Al Hara tours the Middle East's street scene, and features previously unknown artists displaying innovative talent in skills like beat-boxing, break-dancing or magic acts. The show is based on MTV's international programme format, Barrio 19.

In Akher Takka, based on MTV'


Tags: MTV Arabia | Nilesat | Arabsat |

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