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Thread: MTV and twofour54 to launch Comedy Central Arabia

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    Arrow MTV and twofour54 to launch Comedy Central Arabia

    MTV and twofour54 to launch Comedy Central Arabia
    by Aaron Greenwood on Nov 10, 2009



    MTV Networks International (MTVNI) and twofour54 have confirmed a new deal to establish an Arab comedy content production studio under the Comedy Central brand.

    Based within twofour54’s content production precinct, Comedy Central Studios Arabia will produce local comedy programming, Arabised versions of existing Comedy Central staples and dubbed versions of existing Western content.

    The organisation will also use the production, post production and broadcast facilities at twofour54 intaj.

    Twofour54 CEO Tony Orsten said the new initiative would provide Arab comedians and comedy producers with an unprecedented opportunity.

    “From individual stand-up talent right through to major comic productions, Comedy Central Studios Arabia will provide an opportunity for Arabic comics and comedy programming talent that simply never existed before,” he said.

    Bhavneet Singh, managing director and executive VP, Emerging Markets, MTVNI cited IPSOS research that found more than 500 comedy episodes are aired across the MENA region every month, the majority of which are original Arabic productions.

    “We feel that this desire for Arabic comedy content, combined with the Comedy Central brand, portfolio and know-how, affords us an opportunity to provide viewers and broadcasters alike with content that is relevant and funny to Arabs, in their own language," he said.
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    Re: MTV and twofour54 to launch Comedy Central Arabia

    twofour54 links with MTV Int’l |
    Chris Forrester
    10-11-2009

    MTV Networks Int’l has signed a multi-year partnership with Abu Dhabi’s ‘twofour54’ media production outfit to “launch Comedy Central Studios Arabia”.

    Twofour54 is backed by the Abu Dhabi government and already has similar long-term relationships with CNN, the BBC, Reuters-Thomson and others. CNN only last week started regular nightly transmissions out of a brand new CNN broadcast facility at twofour54’s media complex in Abu Dhabi.

    MTV’s Comedy Central Studios Arabia will also locate at the complex. “Comedy Central Studios Arabia will develop and produce comedy content in Arabic for broadcast and distribution across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond. It will focus on innovative, original productions covering the full spectrum of the genre, from stand-up, to sketch shows, to sitcoms, aimed primarily at the 18-49 year old Arabic audience. The new venture will also draw upon Comedy Central’s rich library of international formats to produce localised versions for the Arabic market,” said a statement.

    Tony Orsten, CEO, twofour54 said: “We are thrilled to be working with MTVNI on this venture. There is so much untapped creative potential in the region and this partnership will go a long way in helping to create an Arabic comedy industry.” He continued: “From individual stand-up talent right through to major comic productions, Comedy Central Studios Arabia will provide an opportunity for Arabic comics and comedy programming talent that simply never existed before. It is this type of partnership with trusted international brand names that forms such an important part of the media ecosystem we are building at twofour54. This ecosystem provides enormous benefit to the Arab world.”

    Comedy Central Studios Arabia says it will look to build a pool of Arabic comedians and comedy programming talent. The new venture will leverage MTVNI’s international media expertise, brand and formats along with twofour54’s regional knowledge to support and produce Arabic comedy. Using the production, post production and broadcast facilities at twofour54 intaj, the new studios will be well-equipped to deliver content for the region. In addition, this initiative will create numerous training and development opportunities through internships to provide young people from the region with a passion for comedy the chance to pursue a successful career in the industry.

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