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Joining of the giants

Joining of the giants

Rotana and Fox International Channels have entered into a multi-million dollar deal with Disney to televise Disney’s content in the region. But will they create local content?

December 15, 2009 8:42 by

According to D’Silva, the two Fox channels have done well since their launch last year. “It’s been remarkable. When we came in, lots of people in the market didn’t really think we will get anywhere because the whole free-to-air movie was a near monopoly in the region. But we have broken it,” he said. On the content side, the company has signed on with Disney, and also has a five year output deal with Regency Enterprises, which has produced movies like Alvins and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Bride Wars and Marley and Me.

The revenues are also coming in, added D’Silva. Free-to-air channels cater to 90 percent of the audiences in the region, and the channels have had a good response from advertising. “So our revenues are growing, in fact they have exceeded our expectations,” he said.

And now they are planning to expand further. “In the last 18 months we have consolidated our position and grown our two channels. We want to do more. Not only do we want to launch more channels, but we are looking for ways to innovate in terms of what kind of content we put on air,” he said.

They are working towards creating local content but are still working out the details. “Definitely as far as local production, there will be something from Rotana group and Fox. And that could very likely be in partnership with Disney, at least one series we will have,” he said.

Nezar Nagro, the president of Rotana Media Services, also claimed that his company is in talks with different studios for producing new content. “We have a plan to create local content, but maybe not on Fox. Maybe on LBC and Rotana,” he says, adding that the content will meet “international standards.”

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