MBC channels top UAE television rankings

MBC1 and Arabs Got Talent rank as the top channel and TV show of 2013, research shows

Ben Flanagan
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Seven of the UAE’s top 10 television channels of 2013 are broadcast by MBC Group, according to research released today.

An annual report by tview, which measures television audiences, shows that MBC1, a general-entertainment channel broadcast across the Arab world, had the highest viewership of all channels in the UAE.


Six other MBC Group channels also figured in the top 10, which also featured Asianet Middle East, Asianet News and Sony TV. Al Arabiya News is part of MBC Group.

MBC’s Arabs Got Talent, The Voice and Arab Idol were the top three programs across all UAE households, tview said.

Tview’s figures are gathered from set-top boxes installed in about 800 households across the country.

Christopher O'Hearn, general manager of the Emirates Media Measurement Company, which is behind tview, said the fact that big-format shows are relatively young in the Arab world is part of the reason for their popularity.

"The big reality entertainment shows like Arab Idol, The Voice and Arabs Got Talent continue to be incredibly popular here, while in other regions they have been fading. That's probably because the Arabic versions are only a few seasons old and it shows the appetite for good local content regardless of format," he said.

"Clearly MBC has dominated the Arabic channels with their range of channels," he added. "Local channels found success with old favourites like Shabayet Al Carton and Freej, and the big local event was the UAE's victory over Iraq in the Gulf Cup on Abu Dhabi Sport."

O'Hearn said that TV remains popular despite competition from other media.

"Many people are keen to say TV is dead but actually it has never been more popular and the consensus seems to be that live events and must watch television is where the future of reaching a mass audience lies."

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