MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Center)
MBC Group stands for Middle East Broadcasting Center or the Middle East Television Center. It is one of the largest television networks in the Middle East and North Africa. It is based in Dubai, was founded and is owned by the Saudi billionaire Waleed Al-Ibrahim.
The independent satellite channel MBC was launched in 1991 as the first private non-encrypted Arabic satellite channel out of London, providing entertainment and information to the Arab audience. In 1994, MBC launched MBC FM, the first private radio in Saudi Arabia,
In 2002, MBC Group launched O3 productions company, to produce and purchase programs either for the group or other customers. It is also one of the producers of documentary movies. In 2003, MBC2 (the first non-encrypted 24h Western movies channel) and Al Arabiya News Channel (24-hour Arabic language news channel) were launched. A year later, the group inaugurated MBC3 (children’s edutainment with a mix of both local productions and western acquisitions), and its second radio station Panorama FM.
By 2011, MBC Group launched MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC Max, MBC Drama, MBC + Drama, MBC MASR, MBC MASR 2, MBC BOLLYWOOD, MBC VARIETY. In July 2011, the Group started ww.shahid.net, he first free VOD and catch-up portal in the Arab world featuring MBC's exclusive content, along with other Arabic content. In the same month, MBC launched its High Definition TV service for all its channels, allowing viewers to see the image 4 times clearer than the normal one.
May 2012, MBC Group launched the Eventique Company, specialized in event management and wedding planning. In June 2013, the CSR arm of the group was launched under the name “MBC Hope”. The initiative creates campaigns, such as "Syrians without an address", “Train For Aim” and “Stars On Board”. In 2017 MBC Hope was launched for the first time in Egypt in order to support aspiring female entrepreneurs with the resources to transform their business plans into successful start-ups.
The MBC network has been hit by a major financial crisis over the last years, leading to the layoff of over 150 employees, and dramatically reducing programs and drama production budgets over the past year. The losses reached 250 million USD, forcing the Group to freeze its O3 Productions and collaborate with producers from abroad to buy the right to display their work.
This loss has two main factors:
- Press reports revealed that the financial crisis of the network was due to its attempt to buy the exclusive right to display the Saudi league. In order to do so, the group manufactured nearly a million encrypted "receivers" at a cost of nearly 250 million USD. But the Saudi government refused the encryption, arguing that broadcasting the league should be a right to all channels.
- The fact that their advertising returns do not cover their production costs.
The MOM team’s research could not find information on the legal entity under which the MBC Group operates in Egypt. It is assumed that MBC Group has a legal entity in Egypt, as they have offices and employees in Egypt, and broadcast from Egypt. If there were no legal entity in Egypt, the channel would operate illegally, as MBC Group is foreign-owned.
MBC Group operates in the broadcasting and media production business.
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1991 (London) and 2002 (Dubai)
Affiliated Interests Founder
Waleed Al-Ibrahim is one of the most prominent well off Saudi figures. He is the owner of MBC group and Al Arabiya news channel. Walid Al Ibrahim is the brother of Al-Jawhara bint Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz Al Ibrahim, widow of the late King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. On 4 November, 2017, Al Ibrahim was detained in Saudi Arabia in a "corruption crackdown" conducted by a new royal anti-corruption committee.
MBC FZ - LLC Building 3
Al Nujoom Street
Dubai Media City, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Phone : +971 4-391-9999
Fax : +971 4-391-9900
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Sam Barnett (CEO)
Sam Barnett joined MBC Group in 2002.
Other Influential People
is the official Spokesman and Group Director of Public Relations & Commercial.