SES announced today that the United Arab Emirates company YahLive, in which SES is a shareholder, closed a long-term agreement with the Dubai-based free-to-air satellite broadcaster MBC Group to broadcast its large portfolio of High Definition (HD) channels. With this strategic partnership, which was announced in Dubai today, viewers of YahLive can watch seven top rated MBC Group channels in HD across the Middle East and North Africa: MBC 1, MBC 2, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC Drama, MBC MAX and Al Arabiya News Channel.
MBC Group is a leading private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company for the Arab World. YahLive is a partnership of SES with Yahsat, the United Arab Emirates-based satellite communications company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development company. YahLive broadcasts from the orbital position 52.5 degrees East. Viewers in the Middle East and in North Africa seeking to receive MBC Group's HD bouquet from this position need to point their satellite dish to it.
Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said: "We are pleased to announce this partnership with YahLive. YahLive is building a proposition based on High Definition (HD) television and aims to attract audiences from across the region. Our channels are 'required viewing' for many in the Middle East and the ability to watch them in HD is becoming increasingly attractive. This deal should therefore create a strong partnership."
Mohamed Youssif, CEO of YahLive, said: "Our partnership with MBC Group is another key milestone in the evolution of YahLive and an excellent example of our strategic vision to become the HD hotspot for the region and beyond. Ensuring that our customers have access to the number one channels and programmes is of highest importance to us, and it is clear that MBC Group's offering is amongst the most popular in the region."
SES is a leader in HD internationally, with a total of more than 1,000 HD channels on its satellites worldwide and with a specific know-how in the segment, for instance through its affiliate HD PLUS which operates a technical platform for commercial broadcasters offering HD channels in Germany.