My-HD Media acquires Philippines TV rights for MENA

Rebecca Hawkes | 16-04-2013

Two Filipino TV channels owned by the GMA Network are to switch platforms in the Arab world on 1 May following a deal with the nascent Dubai-based companies My-HD Media and Sawa Media.

Currently transmitted in the region by pay-TV provider OSN, GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV will also be joined by a channel new to the Middle East GMA News TV when My-HD Media begins showing the channels via Arabsat's BADR-5 satellite next month.
Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD Media, said: "With over 2.4 million Filipinos in the Middle East, this community is one of the largest in the region and plays a significant role in the development of local economies, and with this agreement we aim to offer those viewers their favourite programmes on our one-stop-shop HD platform."
The three channels are to be bundled along with around 25 western entertainment high definition TV channels in a package called MyGMA, at an expected retail cost of US$27 per month, according to Ali Ajouz, managing director of Sawa Media.
Sawa Media will be the exclusive Internet protocol television (IPTV) and cable distribution company for the GMA channels in the Middle East and North Africa. The GMA relationship will also include TV production, video-on-demand rights, advertising sales and events in the region.
This latest deal follows one struck by My-HD last year with free-to-air Arab broadcaster MBC to carry many of its high definition channels. The new platform hopes to reach over 170 million viewers in over 80 countries across the Middle East.
"With this agreement, we add another feather in our cap and My-HD Media will not only increase its viewership base, but will also increase the growth potential for affordable pay-TV in high definition quality," Nelson added.
Subscribers will require a My-HD viewing card and a compatible set-top box to receive the service.