MBC to bring The Voice to the Arab world

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 14-05-2012

The exclusive rights to broadcast international TV format The Voice across the Middle East and North Africa have been acquired by Dubai-based free to air satellite network MBC.

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Arabia will co-produce the local version of the reality singing show with MBC.

"We are pleased to announce this multi-year agreement, in our capacity as the exclusive broadcaster of this international format that has gained much popularity and viewership across the world. We now offer the three strongest talent show formats in the region, across multi-platforms, and look forward to continuously bring the best of entertainment to our loyal viewers, browsers and followers," said Ali Jaber, group TV director, MBC.

"Talent shows have positively affected the TV viewing habits, patterns and trends in the region, while further enhancing the family viewing experience and raising the levels of engagement with TV content, through social media and other platforms," he added.

MBC already broadcasts Arab Idol and Arabs Got Talent to a wide audience base across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ziad Kebbi, President of SPT Arabia, said: "We're very excited to co-produce The Voice – the format is a blockbuster and now it's our region's turn to take up the mantle. In particular, social media and digital extension will play a major role in our production activity; both key elements in uniting the audience across various territories."

The Voice, which originated in Holland in 2011, became the most watched talent competition in the history of Dutch TV, and has gone on to win mass popularity in the US, France and UK. Now, 45 broadcasters worldwide are licensed to produce versions of the format.

Maarten Meijs, managing director of format owner Talpa Distribution, said: "In the Western world, The Voice is recognized as a new generation in its genre. We trust the same will happen in the MENA region, regardless of cultural differences, as all people love music and have their one unique language to discuss who and what they like the most."