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Titled The Digital Transition and Building a Robust Media Business, the discussion covered international competition, local media strategies, the UAEs regional role, the economic impact of video streaming, the impact of the public broadcaster and the Saudi opportunity, among other topics. The high-powered panel consisted of Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi; Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group; Sanjay Raina, SVP and GM of Fox Networks Group; and Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO at Starz Play.
To Sarkis query as to why more such agreements are not taking place MENA-wide, Sanjay Raina said MENA is a mental construct. It is 24 different countries with all its issues, regulations and political affiliations. So even if three or four entities come together and form a consortium, that should be good enough. Why should we worry when the biggest broadcaster and a fairly large international player have seen common ground?
On the question of whether the growing realisation among broadcasters regarding the importance of their VOD platforms is giving him sleepless nights, Sheikh offered an overview of the MENA audience profile: I believe that this is not a market where only one service can take it all. Netflix is definitely a global powerhouse. Shahid is very strong in Arabic content. But Starz Play is the overall market leader because we are fulfilling the demands for latest Hollywood movies and TV shows for Arab consumers in the region. Our audience survey shows that an estimated 40% of our customers subscribe to at least one of the other OTT services as well. Around 70% of our audience is under 35, so it is a very different demographic. Viewership on OSN set-top boxes and MBC channels is very different to someone tuning in to an Android phone and watching content on it.
Maaz says he is giving young people what they want and MBC is giving old people what they want, is what Im hearing, observed Sarkis, playing an effective provocateur. Turning to Barnett, he asked whether the traditional broadcasters will become obsolete.
With more than 400 Saudi nationals working for MBC, Barnett described it as a great Saudi export and said the opening of the media landscape in Saudi Arabia will allow the broadcaster to scout for talent within the country.
Abstract:There is much misinformation about what is needed for AC power at production events, much of it having to do with life-threatening advice. This panel will discuss how to properly and safely provide AC power for all concerned, without noise, hum or buzz. The discussion will start at the outlet working backwards to the source of power, while covering systems from a couple of speakers on sticks up to multiple stages in ballrooms, road houses, and event centers. This discussion will include large scale installed systems, including multiple transformers and company switches, service types, generator sets, 1ph, 3ph, 240/120 208/120 and explain what all the lingo means. Get the latest information on grounding and typical configurations by this panel of industry veterans. 2b1af7f3a8