MBC goes high definition on My-HD, Arabsat

Rebecca Hawkes | 04-09-2013

MBC's eight premium high definition (HD) television channels have been made available on the My-HD pay-TV platform across the Middle East, giving it a total of 30 premium HD channels – 20 of which are exclusive.

A ninth MBC channel is to be launched exclusively on My-HD soon, said the nascent Dubai-based company, which has recently extended its geographic coverage to Iraq and Morocco. The new channels will augment the existing offering that includes MBC HD, Rotana HD, Al Nahar HD and Fox HD.

All are available to customers via a set-top box and one satellite dish pointed at Arabsat, the Saudi-based satellite operator which is working to position itself as the leading HD hotspot in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Our strategic alliance with Arabsat has by far proven to be one of the most successful partnerships since we entered this industry," said Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD. "Today, we have the region's two largest networks - MBC and Rotana Group – available in HD for the first time only on My-HD and Arabsat, giving our customers across the MENA region unbeatable value."

Khalid Balkheyour, president and CEO of Arabsat, added that with this development Arabsat now carries a total of 65 HDTV channels, including the exclusive carriage of the Saudi football league.

Sam Burnett, CEO, MBC Group, welcomed the move, saying the broadcaster also lauds "Arabsat's principles and policies which prevent pirate TV channels from operating on its satellite. We look forward to our shared growth, as we launch further HD channels as part of our migration strategy from standard definition."