How the television industry operates can make for compelling viewing and give rise to animated discussions. Does pay-per-view trump all other delivery forms in getting a committed viewership base? Or is free-to-air still the way for a broadcaster to go about building an audience and, by extension, bring in the advertising dollars?
The industry can generate enough twists and turns that would do the best police shows on TV proud. In the Middle East, it has been quicker on the rebound following the downturn and is pulling in some impressive dollar numbers going by recent data.
That would give the folks at Fox International channel's regional operations enough cause for cheer. A relatively recent entrant into the region's free-to-air market, the News Corporation owned entity is now checking out the air waves for further growth possibilities.
Rohit D'Silva, general manager for the Middle East and North Africa territory, offers an update.
Rohit D'Silva: We debuted in the Middle East free-to-air market (FTA) in 2008 and in a vast, competitive and cluttered market such as the Mena region, we have taken on the strength of some established and reputed players. By no stretch of imagination can this be considered a small accomplishment.
We launched two flagship entertainment channels in the FTA satellite space with Fox Movies and Fox. In 2009, we launched a fully Arabic dubbed factual entertainment channel ‘National Geographic Abu Dhabi in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media.
That's not all; today our entertainment channel Fox is equipped with dual audio, providing viewers with the benefit of watching programmes either in English or Arabic.
Having said that, we are looking at consolidating our position in the Middle East, and going forward we hope to launch more channels in the entertainment space.