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Sun 26 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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MBC wins exclusive rights to Live8 gigs

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East will join the world in watching the historic Live 8 concert after MBC won the exclusive rights to broadcast the event in the region.

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East will join the world in watching the historic Live 8 concert after MBC won the exclusive rights to broadcast the event in the region.

Saturday’s show, which precedes the G8 meeting of the world’s most powerful countries in Scotland the following week, is aimed at putting the spotlight on ending global poverty. Concerts in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia will feature global acts such as Coldplay, Dido, Madonna, Paul McCartney, REM and U2.

All 11 hours of the show, starting at 4pm KSA time, will be carried live on MBC4, with the first four simulcast on MBC 2.MBC 4 will also run a special highlights programme the following evening.

It will add an estimated audience of more than 30 million to the two billion people expected to watch around the world. MBC’s entire TV and radio network is gearing up for a massive promotional push around the event, which is expected to deliver MBC4’s biggest ever audience.

Tim Riordan, director of channels, said: “We’re very excited about it. We launched 4 earlier in the year and this will really draw attention to it.”

He added that the event had also been drawing a lot of interest from potential sponsors.

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