By John Irish
The satellite broadcaster announces plans to establish its headquarters in Dubai with a view to improving customer service.
In a bid to establish its headquarters in the region, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) pay-TV network Showtime confirmed on February 19 that it is to become the first satellite broadcaster to base itself in Dubai Media City (DMC). Showtime is aiming to complete the relocation by summer 2004 at the latest. The first phase will see its play-out and up-linking operations in Cairo and its sales and marketing activities currently operating in Dubai, move to a 50,000 square feet purpose-built headquarters at a location in the DMC.“The move brings us into the heartland of the creative community that is growing rapidly within DMC. We look forward to contributing a major element to the creative edge that DMC is giving Dubai and the region,” said Peter Einstein, president and chief executive of Showtime.By moving to the DMC, Showtime will be able to consolidate all its elements under one roof, rather than having various offices stationed throughout the region and in London. “Showtime is the first satellite bouquet operator to choose DMC as its base. Its decision is strategically important because it confirms DMC has successfully established itself as an international hub,” said Ahmad bin Byat, director general of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.The satellite network’s facilities will feature a multi-million dollar broadcast and transmission centre together with an advanced call centre and online customer service functions. The opening of new call centres comes just days after the launch of Showtime’s online customer service website aimed at simplifying the way customers check, upgrade and change their personal details and subscription options.“The service provides customers with the convenience of performing transactions at any given time during the day or night in a self-service manner without needing to telephone Showtime’s call centres,” said Khosrow Afrasiabi, Showtime’s IT director. The importance placed on new customer service initiatives will inevitably please Showtime’s 250,000 subscribers, particularly as there have been suggestions in recent months that the broadcaster’s customer service record was in question.“We’re not perfect, but we’re striving to improve our customer service. Most customers seem happy with our service but we’ll never stop trying, not just on a regional basis but also on a global basis,” Einstein told Arabian Business.