Sony Pictures Television, Sony Pictures Television Arabia, Ziad Kebbi, Dany Karam, Talpa, BroadcastPro Middle East, Vijaya Cherian
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has formed a new production company to serve the Arabic speaking market, fronted by local production executives, Ziad Kebbi and Dany Karam, BroadcastPro Middle East can reveal.
The local arm, Sony Pictures Television Arabia FZ-LLC (SPT Arabia), is based in Dubai with production offices in Cairo and in Beirut. Kebbi and Karam, who jointly lead the company, now represent SPT’s extensive catalogue of scripted and non-scripted programming targeting broadcast clients in twenty two countries spanning Iraq to Morocco.
Commenting on the new branch, Kees Abrahams, president of international production for SPT said: “The Arabic-speaking countries represent an exciting market for SPT with a growing appetite for high quality, scripted and non-scripted content. With our vast catalogue of library and current formats along with Ziad and Dany, who are two experienced and talented executives, we are now in an even stronger position to grow our production business across this important market.”
Kebbi and Karam, who were formerly with Endemol Middle East, have been active in the entertainment industry in the Middle East for 20 years with extensive experience in content acquisition, production and distribution. They hold strong ties with all the major broadcasters operating across the Arab world and have successfully produced high quality television programming in both Cairo and Beirut. In 2004, they founded Elements TV, a television production company based in Beirut and Dubai which delivered and produced shows such as The Celebrity Farm, Deal or No Deal and Take it or Leave it.
“SPT Arabia will tap into the global knowledge and resources of SPT and will lean on our local market knowledge to bring the most compelling and most entertaining programming to TV viewers in the Middle East,” stated Kebbi.
The formation of SPT Arabia is the latest development in the ongoing growth of SPT’s international production business. In July, SPT announced the formation of Floresta in Brazil headed up by Elisabetta Zenatti. SPT is also represented in Latin America by Teleset based in Colombia. The company has also strengthened its presence in Europe with offices serving the Benelux region, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. In Russia, SPT is represented by Lean-M while in the US, SPT acquired Embassy Row in 2008.
Lately, SPT Arabia also entered into a partnership agreement with Talpa Media giving the former exclusive right to jointly produce with Talpa all Talpa’s international formats across multiple TV genres throughout the region.
The co-production agreement will include Talpa’s extensive catalogue of reality, game show and scripted content aimed at broadcasters across more than 20 countries extending from Morocco to Lebanon and from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia.