MBC Signs Major Multiyear Extension of Programming Output Deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
DUBAI, UAE and BURBANK – MBC Group and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (WBITD) have signed a major, multiyear extension of the programming output deal between the two companies which will now make MBC the first-run Middle East home to new television series distributed by WBITD. The announcement was made today by Tim Riordan, Group TV Director at MBC, and Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television.
Under terms of the new agreement, MBC will now have first-run access to all new TV shows distributed by WBITD from the 2008–2009, 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 U.S. television seasons. MBC will debut WBITD series in the region on free TV, concurrent with the U.S. broadcast of the programs, as part of its effort to deliver the best of entertainment from around the world free to the Arab world.
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 U.S. The new deal also continues the existing theatrical motion picture output agreement between the two companies.
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.
“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,” said Riordan. “MBC realizes the importance of airing shows in this region concurrently with the U.S., in order to meet the growing demands of the Arab audience.”
“We have had a very successful association with MBC which we are pleased to extend with this significant new agreement that will see all of our new TV series debuting on MBC in the region,” said Schlesinger. “We will work closely with MBC to bring our shows to Arab world viewers in close proximity to their broadcast in the U.S., and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”
“The Mentalist,” “Fringe” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” will launch exclusively on MBC Action as part of the big Action April campaign which introduces several new series for the first time on TV. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” will air every Monday at 18:00 GMT, starting April 20. “Fringe” will air every Tuesday at 18:00 GMT, beginning April 21. And “The Mentalist” will air every Friday at 18:00 GMT, commencing April 24.
“The Mentalist” stars Simon Baker (“The Guardian,” “The Devil Wears Prada”), Robin Tunney (“Prison Break”), Tim Kang (“The Forgotten”), Owain Yeoman (“Generation Kill”) and Amanda Righetti (“The O.C.,” “Friday the 13th (2009)). Bruno Heller (”Rome") created and serves as executive producer of the series, from Warner Bros. Television.
“Fringe” stars Anna Torv (upcoming HBO miniseries “The Pacific”), Joshua Jackson (“Dawson’s Creek”), Lance Reddick (“Lost,” “The Wire”), Kirk Acevedo (“Invincible,” “Oz”), Blair Brown (“The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd”), Jasika Nicole (“The Mastersons of Manhattan”), with Mark Valley (“Boston Legal”) and John Noble (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”). The series is executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Jeff Pinkner, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci serving as consulting producers. From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, “Fringe” was created by Abrams (“Lost”) & Kurtzman & Orci, the team behind “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible III” and “Alias.”
“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” stars Lena Headey (“300”), Thomas Dekker (“Heroes”), Summer Glau (“Serenity,” “Firefly”), Brian Austin Green (“Domino,” “Beverly Hills, 90210”), Garret Dillahunt (“No Country for Old Men,” “Deadwood”), Shirley Manson (of the band Garbage), Leven Rambin (“All My Children”) and Richard T. Jones (“Judging Amy,” “Event Horizon”). The executive producers are Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds” (2005)), John Wirth (“Ghost Whisperer”), James Middleton (“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”), Mario Kassar (“Terminator” films), Andrew Vajna (“Terminator” films) and Joel Michaels (“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”). The series is from the Bartleby Company and The Halcyon Company in association with Warner Bros. Television.
About MBC Group
MBC Group was established in 1991 as the first pan-Arab free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World. Over the past 17 years, MBC group has grown to become a well-established media group that enriches people’s lives through information, interaction and entertainment. Based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, MBC Group includes 6 television channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment), MBC2 and MBC MAX (24-hour movies), MBC3 (children’s entertainment), MBC4 (entertainment for new Arab women), MBC Action (action series and movies), and Al Arabiya (the 24-hour Arabic language news channel); two radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music), and panorama fm (contemporary Arabic hit music); as well as O3 productions, a specialized documentary production unit, and Middle East News agency (MEN), a news gathering agency. It has also several online platforms: www.mbc.net, www.alarabiya.net, and www.alaswaq.net.
About MBC Action
MBC Action provides Arab viewers with the best in high-octane western series, movies and action reality shows, keeping everyone buzzing 24/7. Hit shows include the exclusive free-to-air award winning series, Lost, Prison Break, Las Vegas and CSI. MBC Action offers viewers the chance to watch some of the latest and most exciting international action and adventure movies and series from the comfort their own homes. You’ll be so wired you’ll never want to sleep again!
About Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of feature films, television programs and animation to the international television marketplace (broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital platforms, etc.). It licenses some 50,000 hours of programming (including more than 6,000 ýfeatures and 70+ current series), dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 ýlanguages, to telecasters and cablecasters in more than 175 countries.
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