Middle East Broadcasting Center

Middle East Broadcasting Center
Middle East Broadcasting Center
Type Private
Industry Broadcasting
Founded September 18, 1991
United Kingdom
Headquarters Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Key people Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim, Chairman
Website MBC.net

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World which was launched in London in 1991 and later moved to its headquarters in Dubai in 2002. MBC Group provides multiple channels of information, interaction and entertainment. Based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, MBC Group includes 10 television channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment), MBC2 and MBC MAX (24-hour movies), MBC3 (children’s entertainment), MBC4 (entertainment for new Arab women), MBC Action (action series and movies), MBC Persia (24-hour movie channel dubbed in Persian) , Al Arabiya (the 24-hour Arabic language news channel); Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel) and MBC Drama coinciding with the Group’s 20th anniversary, and offers 24/7 Arabic Drama. The Group also includes two radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music), and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music); as well as O3 productions, a specialized documentary production unit. MBC also has several online platforms: * mbc.net, * alarabiya.net, * alaswaq, and * Shahid.net, the first free VOD portal in the Arab world.



MBC is a free-to-air, pan-Arab, news and entertainment broadcaster.[1] It was launched in 1991 as the first privately-owned and independent Arabic satellite TV station.[1]

MBC was the first broadcaster to provide a satellite-based free-to-air 24-hour television network across the Arab world. It has remained privately owned, managed by a group of businessmen and shareholders, including chairman and CEO Sheikh Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al Brahim. The shareholder list has never been verified, although it is generally believed that only the Saudi royal family has enough capital to keep the company afloat.[citation needed]

Over the past fifteen years, MBC has grown into a multi-channel platform with a growing range of offerings for a Pan Arab audience of different local cultures, tastes and requirements. The round-the-clock service has also appealed to the expatriate Arabic-speaking population and attracted high-profile multinational advertisers.[citation needed]

At its launch, MBC offered entertainment programmes that were already popular in the Middle East as well as top-rating shows from Western markets, in particular the United States and United Kingdom. The MBC News at 9:00pm became regularly viewed in the Arabic-speaking world.[citation needed]

MBC's television arm, MBC TV, broadcasts via the Egyptian-owned Nilesat 101/102/103 and Arabsat satellites, and delivers news and entertainment to more than 150 million Arabic speakers around the world.

MBC Headquarters is located in Dubai Media City. The company has more than 1,000 staff members worldwide.

The first station in the group, MBC1 offers offer both Arabic entertainment (with a mix of in-house productions and a carefully-crafted acquisitions policy) and news content.

MBC News at 9pm provides wide-ranging coverage of domestic and international newsfor a major cross-section of the Arab speaking world. Even after the subsequent growth in Arab TV news media and the launch of MBC’s own 24 hour news station – Al Arabiya, MBC News at 9pm is still a popular news show.

Building on the success of News at 9pm, and in response to the perceived need from the Arabic audience, Al Arabiya was launched in March 2003 as a 24-hour free-to-air news and current affairs station. The station has consistently rated among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences.

MBC2 is a free-to-air 24-hour movie channel, featuring both top-rated Hollywood Movies and an array of B-movies.

MBC3's programming schedule is devoted entirely to children.

The recently reformatted MBC4 is now completely dedicated to women’s programming, incluing top-rated programs from a variety of genres, including comedy, talk shows, drama and reality TV.

MEN (Middle East News) is a news and information provider for a number of clients, including MBC, Al Arabiya, MBC-FM and Panorama.

MBC has become regions first broadcaster to provide a bouquet of free to air HD channels by launching the HD versions of MBC1, MBC DRAMA, MBC4, MBC2, MBC MAX, MBC ACTION and Al Arabiya channels in July 2011.

MBC channels and Services

All of MBC channel are free-to-air channels.

  • MBC 1

Was launched in 1991 as the first independent Pan Arab channel. Being the first free-to-air private satellite channel, bringing entertainment into Arab homes. Today, hosting the news service in the region and with a commitment to local programming- from soap operas to hit reality TV shows.

  • MBC 2

Is the first free-to-air movie channel in the Arab world. It offers a 24-hour non-stop stream of Hollywood movies, from blockbusters to classics and highly-acclaimed international films; it has a devoted following, making it the most popular prime-time channel in the Arab world.

  • MBC 3

Is the children’s entertainment channel. It delivers a programming mix of children's education and entertainment that connects with and stimulates the imagination of Arab kids aged between three and thirteen. MBC 3 also airs a locally produced reality show for kids, Eish Safari, which recruits young Arab kids and sets them on a month long trip of mental and physical challenges. Recently, the channel produced a new game show called “Graduate In A Day”, similar in concept to “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” for children and their parents.

  • MBC 4

Is the Arab world’s first exclusive tailored channel for women. It broadcasts the latest in top-rated Western entertainment. The channel airs prime time shows such as Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, The Doctors Show, House, The Office, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and the popular Turkish Drama series that are dubbed into Arabic. Today, the channel is geared towards MBC own production, based on international formats, as well as acquired Arabic content from across the region. The channel will air the biggest production for the Group, Arabs Got Talent, in addition to various other shows, some MBC produced, others co-produced or through acquisitions.

  • MBC Action

Is MBC Group’s action-packed channel that targets young Arabic males. It delivers the best in high-octane Western series, movies and action reality shows, keeping everyone buzzing around the clock. Some of its prime time shows include The Mentalist (exclusive on MBC Action), The Vampire Diaries (exclusive on MBC Action), Fringe (Exclusive on MBC Action), Supernatural, V (exclusive on MBC Action) and True Blood. The channel recently produced its first production, Driven, which is a weekly “magazine” format show about cars.

  • MBC Max

Is MBC Group’s second 24-hour movie channel which caters to a younger audience and delivers a family viewing experience. The channel airs Western comedy, action, romantic and drama movies as well as classic and new Bollywood movies.

  • MBC Drama

Is the latest addition to the Group, and was officially launched on November 27, 2010. It is a family channel, with 24/7 Arabic drama series. The launch coincides with the Group’s 20th anniversary, and marks our 10th channel launch. MBC Drama is a proof of the Group’s faith in local production, dramas in particular, to a wide range of viewers, therefore creating opportunities for directors and producers to display their work and talent in front of millions of viewers. The channel runs a variety of different dramas: Egyptian, Syrian, Bedouin and Gulf dramas that are 1st runs and exclusive runs, in addition to Turkish, Mexican and Indian dramas dubbed into Arabic. MBC Drama is distinguished by the two additional repeats throughout the day, offering its viewers the choice of time, based on their various lifestyles and viewership trends. Do not confuse this channel with MBC's subscription-based channel MBC+ Drama.

  • MBC Persia

Is a 24 hour entertainment channel that airs Western and Arabic content subtitled and dubbed in Persian. The two most popular dubbed series are NUR (Turkish series) and Grey’s Anatomy.

  • Al Arabiya

Is a 24-hour free-to-air news channel which was launched in 2003 and soon became the news source of choice for Arabs seeking credible news and information about the Middle East and the world beyond. Al Arabiya’s reputation for balanced reporting now extends beyond its natural geographic and cultural domain.

  • MBC FM and Panorama FM

Are MBC Group’s Arabic radio stations in Saudi that broadcast music, talk shows, competitions and local coverage of events and news. MBC FM plays local and Gulf music while Panorama FM delivers contemporary Arabic and Western tunes.

  • Wanasah

Is a 24-hour music channel that targets the Arab youth, mainly in the Gulf region. The channel offers a fresh selection of music videos, concerts, music & lifestyle programs as well as series.

  • MBC.net

Is one of the leading Arabic entertainment web portals in the region. With an attractive mix of sports, entertainment, movies and music content, along with its user interactivity and social networking features MBC.net is establishing itself as a unique experience for its audience.

  • Alarabiya.net

Is the online website of Al Arabiya news channel, one of the most popular, interactive news portals in the Arab world, offering latest news, views and in-depth features. With its commitment to user generated content, AlArabiya.net allows its user to interact freely with news, whilst the video forum gives budding journalists and documentary makers the opportunity to broadcast their material. The site can be browsed in Arabic, English, Urdu, and Persian. Alarabiya.net recently launched the world’s first live streaming service in High Definition (HD) which offers the channel’s viewers a new and enhanced way of following news, with a 24 hour call back.

  • Alaswaq.net

Is the business news portal of MBC Group. It provides daily, detailed reports and analysis of key developments in the GCC stock markets, along with news of the biggest investment funds and companies in the Middle East. There is also a special focus on the real estate markets.

  • Shahid.net

Is the first free “video on demand” website in the Arab region. The portal is also the first of its kind to provide series, programs, cartoons, and documentaries from the content of MBC channels as well as other Arabic channels. Launched with over 90 titles, the website already offers prime time show programming, twenty six of which are new Ramadan 2010 releases that cover almost every genre; from comedy, to drama and gaming.

  • O3 production

Is a subsidiary of the MBC Group specializing in a variety of production and post production services. They are one of the regional market leaders in producing and distributing the best-of-content as well as providing inventive programming, documentaries, docu-dramas, factual entertainment, reality shows, Arabic drama, dubbed drama, and more.

  • MBC Facilities

In 2002, MBC Facilities was established to cater to the needs of the broadcast and production industry. The company has quickly evolved into a reliable source of equipment. In addition to state-of-the-art technology, MBC Facilities is also a pioneer in event management.


MBC applies come censorship to some of its films and television series to appease its Middle Eastern audience. However, this is not necessarily a widely applied as MBC channels have been known to broadcast films and television series that discuss a wide array of subjects that are considered taboos in the Middle East. Due to its younger audience, MBC follows a strict censorship policy in its child-oriented channel, MBC 3.

Use of Technology

In 2010, MBC Max provided the ability to watch English movies with Arabic voices, along with watching English movies (English voices) with or without Arabic subtitles.

In July 2011, MBC launched 7 of its channels in HD which includes MBC 1, MBC 2, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC Max MBC Drama and Alarabiya. These channels are only available on Technosat STB using Conax Encryption which is not famous in the region.


External links

Channels websites

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