MBC Group Stops Broadcasting Turkish Dramas

MBC Group Stops Broadcasting Turkish Dramas

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018 - 08:00
MBC Group headquarters in Dubai. (AP)
Dubai - Asharq Al-Awsat
MBC Group, the Arab world’s largest private broadcaster, announced on Monday that it has stopped showing Turkish television programs. The decision became effective on March 2.

“This may be an incentive for Arab producers to create high-level Arabic drama that can be a good alternative to those taken off the air,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said.

He explained that the cost to to produce one episode of an Arabic series costs between 40,000 and 100,000 dollars. Producing a single episode of Turkish soap opera could cost at least 250,000 dollars.

The chance is now ripe to compete with Turkish dramas through opening opportunities to Arab producers and achieving greater cooperation with writers, directors, stars and artists.

Hayek hoped that this will pave the way for the top quality works that would compete with regional and international productions.

He gave the example of the drama, “Omar,” that was produced by MBC. It was watched by millions of Arab and non-Arab viewers and he hailed its high production value, large budget and strong story-line.

Some Arab commentators have also been campaigning on social media against what they see as Turkish cultural influence being broadcast into Arab homes through TV shows, often dubbed into Arabic.

Hayek said that the halt in showing Turkish shows opened opportunities for program makers in countries such as Qatar and Lebanon to fill the gap.

“This may be an incentive for Arab producers to create high-level Arabic drama that can be a good alternative to those taken off the air,” he said.

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