Prince Al Waleed hails strategic alliances between two giants, Rotana and Disney

Published December 16th, 2009 - 08:20 GMT

Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s of Rotana Media Group, one of the largest media groups in the entire region and Fox International Channels (FIC), the international television channels arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation , today announced that viewers in the Middle East and North Africa region will have access to more of the world’s best family entertainment after signing a multi-year output deal with The Walt Disney Company – Europe, Middle East and Africa.  This collaboration will provide a compelling proposition to Rotana’s bouquet of offerings to viewers and the trade community across the Middle East region.


Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman, Rotana Media Group, expressed his delight at the strategic partnership between the two giants, Rotana and Disney. The partnership is a result of more than AED 100-million deal to acquire licensing rights to broadcast Walt Disney Company content on Rotana Group channels.


The deal, which is set to come into effect immediately, will bring Disney and ABC’s much-loved television series and movies to the region’s viewers free-to-air on Fox Movies and Fox Series channels, including content from the Academy Award®-winning animation studio, Disney/Pixar.          


With this announcement, viewers in the region will be presented with a range of Disney’s most popular movie releases, including the massive box office hits Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Dead Man’s Chest, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Disney/Pixar’s Wall E, as well as award-winning television series.  Debuting for the first time on the region’s screens free-to-air, will be series from ABC Studios including FlashForward, Cougar Town, Castle, and other viewer favorites such as Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Samantha Who?, the new season of Scrubs and the final two seasons of Lost. In addition this agreement also includes The Academy Awards®.


Mr. Pierre Al Daher, President, Broadcasting, Rotana Group said,  “The deal with the Walt Disney Company for broadcasting their content exclusively is of extreme significance as it allows us to target multiple age groups. Big deals aimed at enhancing the content of our channels will continue. We will sign more deals that would interest our viewers in the region”.


Ward Platt, President of Fox International Channels commented on the deal, “Disney is one of the most respected distributors in the world, producing content that regularly sets global standards and breaks box office records, and we are very excited to have entered into such a deal. This partnership will give us access to an even wider bouquet of great entertainment content and will consolidate our position as the leader in the television and movie entertainment genres in the Middle East region.


“This deal follows on from a number of recent initiatives; undertaken to provide an even better experience for our viewers. These include the development of a whole new look and feel for the channel, as well as our acquisition of even more blockbuster content from some of the biggest studios, which gives us access to a wide range of great movie entertainment from the studio’s catalogues, and a new and explosive line-up of ground breaking, award-winning television series that have never been seen on the region’s screens before.”


Tony Chambers: General Manager, Emerging Markets, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, commented “This deal reflects our vision to bring the broad range of content within our portfolio to wider audiences in the Middle East.”.

Fox Movies and Fox Series were both launched in the region following a strategic partnership between Fox International Channels and Rotana last year.     


Nezar H. Nagro, President of Rotana Media Services (RMS) commented, “Providing innovative and diversified content to our viewers across the region has been our aim since launching the Fox Movies and Fox Series channels, in order to raise the bar of the Middle East’s television entertainment. We have put a lot of time and research into creating channels that are based on regional viewer preferences and with the aim for a fantastic viewing experience. Once again, this is something our partnership will fulfill and is facilitated even further with Disney’s most popular movie releases and award-winning television series.


Not only are we delighted to be a key player in this deal, which effectively presents both our viewers, the Middle East families, and advertisers with an enhanced experience from the two channels, but it also serves to considerably diversify our bouquet of regional offerings at Rotana.”


Francesca Tauriello, senior vice president, programme distribution for The Walt Disney Company’s Media Distribution – Business to Business Group, EMEA (South) commented “  The agreement builds upon our long-term relationship with Fox International Channels and Rotana and the content covered under the terms of the agreement is a fantastic strategic fit for their channels and audiences.  The deal also provides the opportunity to build additional areas of business together such as local productions and to customize marketing-promotional activities.”


Fox Movies, which launched in May 2008, offers viewers an unrivalled collection of movie choices and other smart entertainment with an edge from major film studios around the globe. Fox Series, which began broadcasting in December 2008, is the first dedicated free-to-air television series channel in the Middle East and North Africa region and offers ground-breaking, award-winning television series that have never been seen on the region’s screens before, and content that is screened for the first time ever on free-to-air television

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