Given Nickelodeon’s push to open a theme park in Dubai by 2011, it’s not surprising that the kids entertainment giant is also making broadcast inroads into the Middle East. Today, MTV Networks International and Arab Media Group – the largest media group in the UAE – announced the launch of Nickelodeon Arabia. The new localised, free-to-air channel will be broadcast in Arabic to kids across the region.
The move marks the first free-to-air Arabic-language channel created by a global media player for the region’s children. Respecting and reflecting local culture and values is a top priority for Nick Arabia, and the channel will fall under the umbrella of Arabian Television Network (ATN), AMG’s TV broadcasting arm that also houses MTV Arabia and three other stations that will launch before the end of 2007.
Nick Arabia is slated to launch in 2008 and will be broadcast via satellite to 36 million TV households 24/7, and could reach up to 190 million people across the region, including those in key markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE.
As for programming, Nick Arabia is mixing international content from MTVNI’s global portfolio with original locally produced Arabic series. An Arabic-language website is also in the works.