Saudi Arabia set to become top regional TV production hub

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Johannes Larcher. (Supplied)
  • “Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment will be a good breeding ground”

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has the potential to become one of the Middle East’s leading TV production hubs, according to MBC executive Johannes Larcher.

It comes as the region’s biggest broadcaster plans to establish its headquarters in Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment.

“We want Saudi Arabia to emerge as one of the centers of great content production in the region besides Egypt and Lebanon,” said Larcher, who oversees MBC’s Shahid video-on-demand (VOD) platform. “We see ourselves doing more and more there. There is significant investment under the Vision 2030 plan and it goes into the entertainment industry — everything from developing acting schools and sound stages to encouraging physical production in Saudi. It’s a big theme for the Saudi government and we are very supportive of that.”

The Kingdom is the location for the shooting of “Dahaya Halal” (Halal victims), one of MBC’s big new productions for 2020.

Earlier this month MBC Group CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin revealed plans to become an anchor tenant in the new media zone in the Saudi capital. “The diversity of our team and the richness of our human capital will offer new skillsets to young Saudis joining the media industry, coupled with high professional standards and global best practices,” he told MBC staff in a memo.

“I’m confident that Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment will be a good breeding ground for sector growth, expansion and innovation. In fact, it will attract and retain the best and most innovative players, and MBC Group’s new Saudi HQ will be at the heart of it.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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