By Andy Sambidge
Agreement will see top TV shows broadcast by MBC at the same time as in the US.
Dubai-based broadcasting company MBC Group announced on Friday it has signed a major new deal with giant Warner Bros to show all its US TV shows for the next two years.
The agreement inked with Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD) will now make MBC the first-run Middle East home to new television series distributed by US broadcaster.
Under terms of the new deal, MBC will now have first-run access to all new TV shows distributed by WBITD from the 2008–2011 US television seasons.
MBC will debut WBITD series in the region on free TV, at the same time as the US broadcast of the programmes, officials said.
For WBITD, the deal marks the first time the studio has offered its new programming for premiere in the region on free TV, as well as the first time the Studio has offered its new programming for broadcast concurrent with the US.
The first three WBITD series to premiere on MBC under the new pact will be The Mentalist, Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - all launching within the next two weeks.
Tim Riordan, group TV director at MBC, said: "This is our biggest deal to date with Warner Bros, one of the most successful studios in the world, and we are very excited to offer our viewers today’s most popular series internationally.
"MBC realizes the importance of airing shows in this region concurrently with the US, in order to meet the growing demands of the Arab audience."
The Mentalist, Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will launch exclusively on MBC Action as part of the big Action April campaign.
MBC Group was established in 1991 as the first pan-Arab free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World.
Based in Dubai, MBC Group includes six television channels, two radio stations as well as O3 productions, a specialized documentary production unit.
Although I like many of the programs on MBC, I am convinced that MBC does not take into consideration the sensitivities of Arabs and Muslims especially if we take into account that I see no reason why we should be watching programs like Army Wives or Dr. Phil after he had made an insulting remark towards the people of Gaza.