Egyptian police, ACE shut down major piracy service in MENA

The Egyptian police, in collaboration with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), has shut down CimaClub, one of the largest piracy services in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region.ACE is the world’s leading anti-piracy organisation. CimaClub enabled users to directly download or stream pirated content, offering a VOD library of nearly 50,000 movie and TV series titles in Arabic and their original versions. All ACE members were affected.The service attracted more than 29 million monthly visits through its 65 domains. Most of the traffic originated from Egypt, France, Canada, the United States and Germany.Egyptian police identified and confronted the operator in Giza, Egypt.“ACE remains persistent in cracking down on piracy, collaborating closely with authorities to pinpoint unlawful operators in the MENA region,” said Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, a leading Arabic streaming platform by MBC GROUP and ACE member. “This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Egyptian authorities involved, who work diligently to prevent illegal content sharing, and we are grateful to both. It’s no secret that piracy results in tremendous losses, not only for broadcasters, but for production companies and emerging content creators as well. At MBC GROUP, we remain aligned with ACE in its ongoing mission to protect the intellectual property rights of our creators. We are grateful to the Alliance for their great work throughout the year, and we look forward to continuing to fight content piracy together.”“Content piracy has severe implications across the entertainment value chain,” said Fiona Robertson, General Counsel of OSN, a member of ACE. “As one of the leading entertainment companies in the region, we are committed to protecting the rights of all content creators by working closely with law enforcement and regulatory authorities in our operational markets.”“We applaud the Egyptian police for their swift action in identifying the operator of one of the most notorious piracy services in the MENA region,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “The sheer breadth of this illegal operation affected every ACE member, compromising the intellectual property of numerous creators and content owners. Today’s action underscores the power of a global and joint effort to protect the integrity of the creative marketplace.”

Al Arabiya Network launches new ‘Al Arabiya Business’ platform

Al Arabiya Network has announced the launch of Al Arabiya Business, a new platform dedicated to news and updates from the world of business, finance and more.The network launched Al Arabiya Business due to the increased demand for comprehensive and live coverage of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, which has required more airtime by Al Arabiya and Al Hadath channels around the clock.Al Arabiya Business is available for free-to-air broadcast, as well as live streaming via Shahid, the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform, in addition to Al Arabiya Network’s website and YouTube.According to MBC Group and Al Arabiya Chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim, the commitment of both Al Arabiya and Al Hadath to extensively cover the regional events led to the decision to launch Al Arabiya Business.“It’s widely recognized that the heartbeat of global financial markets never falters, even in the midst of conflicts and disasters. Our objective is for Al Arabiya Network to maintain its status as a trusted source for viewers seeking updates on economic and financial developments, all the while staying informed about the ongoing critical events in our region and worldwide,” Sheikh Waleed said in a statement.Chairman of MBC Group and Al Arabiya Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim.Meanwhile, the network’s General Manager, Mamdouh AlMuhaini, added: “The financial and business sector, as highlighted in our ‘Aswaq Al Arabiya’ [Al Arabiya Markets] program, has garnered considerable attention from our viewers. In light of the upsurge in conflicts and significant events, especially in the Middle East and North Africa – such as the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and Morocco, the war in Sudan, and the ongoing situation in Gaza – our viewers are increasingly eager to stay informed around the clock.”The GM also said the service is dedicated to providing the audience with the latest updates, “as well as streaming ‘Aswaq Al Arabiya’ as standalone segments, aligning with our commitment to cater to our viewers’ ever-evolving informational needs, be it in the realm of politics, economics, or the business sector.”Al Arabiya General Manager Mamdouh AlMuhaini.Al Arabiya Business is available via the following outlets:Eutelsat E8WB satellite: Frequency 11470, Orbit 7°W/Vertical polarisation, Coding rate 27500, Error rate 6/5, QPSK frequency, DVB-S broadcast signalShahidAl Arabiya Business on YouTube

MBC launches FM radio station in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: MBC Group is set to make waves in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of MBC LOUD FM, a groundbreaking radio station catering to English-speaking and international music enthusiasts.MBC LOUD FM is the first contemporary hit radio (CHR) format station to grace the airwaves of Saudi Arabia, according to MBC Group. A global sensation, CHR-format stations focus on airing the freshest and most popular chart-topping tunes as defined by the Top 40 music charts.Listeners will enjoy a vibrant mix of locally produced shows and internationally syndicated programming. Featured shows include The Daily Wake Up, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and Spin City.The Daily Wake Up, hosted by the dynamic duo of Jay R and Danah, will kick-start weekdays from 6am to 10am with a blend of music, news, and celebrity gossip. The show will also cover weather and traffic updates, daily call-ins and contests, and a special showbiz segment called 'Raya on Scoop.'On Air with Ryan Seacrest will dominate the weekday 4pm to 7pm slot with chart-topping tracks, entertainment news, and the latest movie buzz. MBC LOUD FM presents this syndicated show exclusively in the KSA.Spin City, set to air on Thursday and Friday nights from 10am to 3am, will showcase an eclectic mix of local and international DJs to keep the party going.Tarek Majdalani, who has joined the MBC LOUD FM team as Station Manager, will be responsible for executing the brand strategy, profiling, and positioning.This radio station is part of MBC Group's dedication to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 in the realms of entertainment and broadcasting. MBC Group Chairman Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim emphasizes the unifying role of English as a global language. He said: "With MBC LOUD FM, our goal is to reach a diverse audience throughout the country, contributing to the nation's ambitions in developments and growth in the entertainment and media industry."Ziad Hamza, Group Director of Audio, Radio & Music at MBC Group, adds that MBC LOUD FM will "completely change the way listeners experience FM radio," enriching their enjoyment of radio and music content, and connecting them with a global audience through exceptional and distinctive radio content.Tune in to MBC LOUD FM on the following frequencies: Riyadh – 99.0, Jeddah – 94.3, and Dammam – 88.5.

MBC Media Solutions, Saudi Tourism Authority sign partnership

Riyadh: MBC Media Solutions (MMS), the commercial arm of MBC Group, has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.The agreement aims to develop and produce high quality Saudi tourism content and promote it in the Gulf and the Arab world by broadcasting it across MBC Group’s ecosystem & beyond, including TV, radio, digital, social media, Shahid VoD platform, Al Arabiya News Network and the Saudi Sports Company’s digital & linear channels.The MoU was signed by Ahmed Al Sahhaf, CEO of MMS, and Raad AlKhanbashi, VP of Marketing and Communications, MEA Markets, STA. The signing ceremony took place at the Saudi Pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.Through this partnership, STA seeks to promote tourism destinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and attract visitors and tourists regionally and globally by producing innovative, high-quality content to connect with MBC audiences with the help of MMS's expertise in content creation and advertising.Commenting on the partnership, Ahmed Al Sahhaf, CEO of MMS, said: "We are proud to be partnering with STA to promote tourism in the Kingdom. With this collaboration, we renew our commitment to employing our industry expertise and innovative solutions to showcase Saudi Arabia’s diverse tourist destinations.”While Abdulkarim Aldarwish, STA's President of Middle East & Africa Markets added: “This agreement confirms our belief in the role of high-quality content in introducing and promoting tourism in the Kingdom, and reflects our keenness in STA to partner with leading media organizations such as MBC Group & MMS to produce high-quality promotional and informational content and enhance its reach to the Arab audience.”

VUZ partners with media group MBC

Social app VUZ has entered into a partnership with MBC Group, which will enable VUZ to expand MBC Group’s video library and XR experiences. With the help of the cooperation, MBC Group's video library and XR experiences will grow, and VUZ's users will be able to stream and experience a higher level of realism in extended reality and the metaverse.With this new strategic alliance, which is expected to greatly expand VUZ's reach, the social app will be featured on all of the MBC Group's channels in the area, including satellite TV, radio, MBC social, and the Arabic streaming service Shahid. Live broadcasts of this combination will also air on VUZ, which will contain exclusive social channels for MBC on the VUZ platform.Khaled Zaatarah, the founder of VUZ, stated: “Our goal is to provide our users with the best immersive experiences, and by partnering with MBC Group, one of the leading media companies in the world, we aim to bring in the best content to integrate within our immersive social app.” He further added, “we aim to embrace the latest media trends such as the metaverse, and XR, which of course, encompasses augmented [AR] and virtual reality [VR]. Together with MBC Group, we are excited to strengthen our position as the leading immersive social app globally.”Fadel Zahreddine, group director of emerging media at MBC Group, stated: “There’s no doubt that immersive experiences have become increasingly important in the world of entertainment, and the region is fully embracing this. Creating a more realistic and engaging environment allows users to become more deeply involved in – and more connected to – the content they are consuming. We are thrilled to have partnered with VUZ to amplify these audience experiences.”VUZ has so far raised approximately $30 million in the capital, supported by investors such as e& Capital, Caruso Ventures, Dubai Future District Fund, SRMG, and others. The company was named "Tech Company of the Year Award" at the 2022 edition of the Tech Entrepreneur Awards. The infrastructure of its partners is used by the immersive media platform to grow into new nations.

Dubai Business Women Council: 137 MBC Group female employees join its membership

The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) announced that 137 female employees from MBC Group have joined the council's membership as a result of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides during the "Women in Media Forum" last September. The partnership aimed to promote the services, initiatives, and events of both parties.The council offers its members and its new joiners from MBC Group a variety of benefits and privileges that can help them be more successful in the market and conduct business more efficiently in Dubai. The council also organizes over 65 activities annually, including training and educational events on topics relevant to the current business environment and other topics that provide members with valuable information and expertise in diverse industries.Positive ChangeNadine Halabi, Business Development Manager, DBWC, emphasized that the accession of 137 female employees from the MBC to the Council's membership will open new opportunities for growth and development. "We do believe in the importance of awareness, education, providing opportunities, and making a positive change in women's lives; therefore, the council will spare no effort to provide all means of support to motivate members to be active in society and help bolster the national economy."Halabi stressed that the collaboration between the two entities, which is based on mutual support and the exchange of knowledge, is aimed at empowering businesswomen and entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, initiatives, and networking platforms to excel in their careers.Established in 2002 under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the Dubai Business Women Council is the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of business women in the Emirate of Dubai. It aims to support businesswomen and entrepreneurs taking their first steps in the world of business. The Council plays a vital role in enhancing the contribution of businesswomen to the country's economy and promoting economic development in all sectors of the business community.

MBC Group partners with Turkish production companies

MBC Group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has announced its partnership with Turkish production companies: Medyapim and Ay Yapim.It is a five-year partnership and will see a host of Turkish content shared with MBC Group via “First Look” and volume deal agreements, alongside Arabic-language content being produced for the MENA market.Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said: “It’s no secret that Turkish content is extremely popular with MENA audiences – it’s a genre that has been rising in popularity in this region since the early noughties.”Kerem Çatay, CEO of Ay Yapim, said: “Fifteen years ago, MBC Group was home to the first foreign network to broadcast an Ay Yapim series. They were leaders then, and they are leaders now. That’s why I’m so happy to be teaming up with MBC Group to create this new chapter in drama. I know we will do great things together!” Fatih Aksoy, president of Medyapim, said: “We are very happy to announce a new and very exciting cooperation with MBC Group. It is our most sincere wish that this will be a most delightful endeavour for both parties, and also the beginning of a long-standing partnership.”Turkish content produced by Medyapim and Ay Yapim will also appear on Shahid which is a Arabic streaming platform by MBC Group.The “First Look '' is still to be announced titles – all dubbed in Arabic will broadcast in MENA simultaneously with their releasing dates in Turkey.Furthermore, moving to locally produced content, MBC Gathering will work with Medyapim and Ay Yapim to co-create and commission various Arabic-language productions, planned to start shooting in Saudi Arabia.The titles will be revealed after the production begins.

Global ‘idol’ talent show in Saudi version announced

In a collaboration between MBC Group and the Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority, a Saudi version of a franchise of the international ‘idol’ talent show was disclosed on Saturday. Turki Al – Sheikh, the GEA chairman, wrote in a tweet that the MBC and the GEA got involved in a partnership in order to inaugurate and launch the first season of ‘Saudi idol’ stated to start in December. The programme will comprise of a four-member jury, including Asala (Syriam), popular Arab singer, Aseel Abu Bakr, a Saudi singer, Ahlam, Emirati actress and singer, Majed Al Mohandis, Iraqi-Saudi singer and composer. The filming is scheduled to start from October and the talent programme is aiming to find local talent, majorly in Riyadh. MBC tweeted: “You carry a beautiful voice and would want to sing? Do you prefer competition and enter the world of fame and limelight? Don’t miss the chance. Participate in the largest singing program, Register now.”

MBC Group inaugurates new headquarters in Riyadh

MBC Group, the Middle East region’s largest multimedia conglomerate, inaugurated its sprawling new headquarters complex in the capital city of Riyadh on Sunday.The colorful inaugural ceremony was held in the presence of Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Transport and Logistics Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MBC Group Waleed bin Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, and several prominent figures including media professionals and officials.Addressing the ceremony, Al-Ibrahim expressed his happiness over the comprehensive renaissance and remarkable development that Saudi Arabia is witnessing under the wise leadership. He also highlighted the unlimited support being extended by the leadership for the sectors of culture, creativity, media and entertainment.Al-Ibrahim said: “We are working with determination to make the MBC Group one of the most prominent international media organizations. The coming years will witness global activities that draw their story from the Arab history, inspired by its slogan from the saying of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: ‘Our ambition is the sky.’A video, featuring the MBC Group’s brilliant television career spanning over three decades, was presented on the occasion. The Saudi-owned MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Centre) moved its base of operations from Dubai to a new complex in Riyadh.Saudi Arabia introduced its first channel, MBC 1, in London in 1991 and it moved to Dubai’s Media City in 2002. In 2020, MBC Group signed an agreement with Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Farhan under which MBC shift its headquarters to Riyadh as a hub for its 24-hour news channel Al Arabiya and its breaking news channel Al-Hadath.MBC Group is poised to become — in gradual phases spanning over the coming five years — a cornerstone in Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment.