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Trouble at MTV and Nickelodeon Arabia?
AMG head Abdullatif Al Sayegh says no, but he also can’t guarantee that there won’t be trouble ahead.
April 1, 2009 1:35 by Dana El Baltaji
Rumors of MTV Arabia and Nickelodeon Arabia going under did the rounds in Dubai on Tuesday amid fears that Arab Media Group (AMG), the channel’s umbrella company, may be experiencing financial difficulties.
Abdullatif Al Sayegh denied knowledge of the rumor to Kipp this morning, stating that due to the financial crisis and its effect on the region, “it’s a chance for people to say what they want.”
“From our end, whatever you’re hearing is a rumor. We, like every other company in the world, are monitoring the situation closely and are making sure we handle the situation in the best possible way. There is nothing from us as higher management,” he added.
With regards to the performance of both channels, he said: “We are very happy with the way the channels are performing right now, and we know that we have captured a lot of viewers from all over the Arab world […] we’re not going to give up easily,” he explained.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of future cuts: “We cannot guarantee who is going to exist six months from now or a year from now. If this situation lasts for over a year then this entire media industry is going to look different.”
Speculation over the future of numerous AMG products, including Emirates Business 24-7 and numerous radio stations, were in doubt early this year when the media group reportedly laid off hundreds of employees. AMG, however, has not publicly admitted to the redundancies.