Arab Advisors Group
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Reality TV hits the Arab World.
Monday, August 9, 2004

The adoption of Reality shows formats is a new trend in the Arabic satellite channels that seems to be in its early growth stages. Based on our analysis, most of the channels get their revenues from sponsorships, advertising and increasingly SMS/IVR services (voting, Mobile goodies request, chatting and info requests). The TV channels are relying on the audience’s interaction with the show for revenues, which places a premium on making the show compelling enough for the audience to participate in setting its direction.

A new report, “Reality Shows in the Arab World” was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Media Strategic Research Service subscribers on August 8, 2004. This report can be purchased from Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 400. The 15-pages report, which has 3 detailed exhibits, profiles and analyzes the major reality shows that were featured in the Arab world’s major TV stations. The report covers six shows that had a significant influence on the TV landscape in the Arab World: Superstar, Star Academy, Miss Lebanon, Fear Factor, Hawa Sawa and Big Brother.

Any investment in this report will count towards a Strategic Research Service subscription should the service be acquired within three months from purchasing the report.

“Reality shows in the Arab Region emerged after the introduction of the 2003 Superstar show by Future TV. The Show proved a huge success in the region and afterwards reality shows started to appear. LBC launched Star Academy and recently Miss Lebanon 2004, while MBC featured BIG Brother (had to stop due to strong local objections) and Fear Factor. Future TV launched the second season of Superstar in 2004. ART launched Al Hawa Sawa, a dedicated matchmaking channel in the Arab World.” Wrote Mr. Judeh Siwady, Arab Advisors Group Media Research Analyst in the report.

“For the purposes of our study, the Arab Advisors Group defines reality shows as shows whose participants are not professional paid actors but participants or contestants entering the show for the purpose of the shows rewards. Some aspects of the contestants personal life appears on the shows as well as their un-rehearsed actions on screen.” Mr. Siwady added.

Reality TV has become a worldwide phenomenon. Reality shows in the Arab World have just started to flourish, while in other countries in the world reality shows may have reached their peak. For example, the USA has more than 150 reality shows (excluding sequences), and the UK has 22 different Reality shows broadcasting on various local and satellite channels.

Arab Advisors analysis shows that all the reality shows produced in the Arab region till now are licensed from European production companies and produced locally except for Al Hawa Sawa, which is produced and licensed by a production company based in the British Virgin Islands. Endemol, based in Netherlands, has licensed six of its shows (including not reality shows) in the Arab World, including the now cancelled Big Brother.

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced more than 270 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). To date, Arab Advisors Group has served more than 170 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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