FreemantleMedia opens for business in Dubai

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 03-10-2011

A new office in Dubai is set to help FreemantleMedia expand the reach of its broadcast formats across the Middle East and North Africa, ahead of MBC's Arabic premiere of its flagship Idols property later this year.
Anahita Kheder has been appointed to head up the Dubai office in the capacity of vice president, FreemantleMedia Enterprises (FME) Middle East. She will report to Mark Newton, executive vice president, licensing Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
She is already working with pan-Arab satellite broadcaster MBC, and its commercial arm Arabian Media Services (AMS), to secure multinational sponsorship. General Motors, L'Oreal, Pepsi and Mars are already signed up for cross-platform exposure on the free to air network's Arab Idol.
"This new office will enable us to deliver so much more for our broadcaster clients in the Middle East," said Mel Alcock, chief executive, EMEA, Freemantle Media Enterprises. "As a great example, Anahita has already developed a close relationship with MBC and AMS, allowing FME to forge a real partnership around Arab Idol and help deliver sponsorship packages that work for brands commercially across a variety of platforms."
Kheder has worked in the Middle East for 11 years, with previous marketing roles on a range of projects including Lammtara Studios' Freej animation, Paris Hilton's BFF Dubai, the footballer Lionel Messi, and a number of regional recording artists.
"The Middle East is currently one of the fastest growing markets globally and we're looking forward to building on our existing relationships there," said David Ellender, chief executive, FME. "This new office, our 12th worldwide, will allow us to manage our formats even more effectively and maximise commercial opportunities across even more platforms."
MBC's multi-year deal with the RTL Group-owned Freemantle encompasses not only the Idols format, but also two more seasons of the Got Talent format, as well as a three year volume deal on FME's tape catalogue.
The first series of Arabs Got Talent premiered on MBC4 in January 2011 to unprecedented ratings across the region.