MBC finds its “Voice”

The popular singing competition (pictured) will debut in the Middle East and North Africa thanks to a deal between broadcaster MBC, format owner Talpa and Sony Pictures Television Arabia.
May 14, 2012

Talent show format The Voice will make its way to the Middle East and North Africa thanks to a multiplatform deal between the MBC Group, distributor Talpa and Sony Pictures Television Arabia.

MBC Group acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast the singing series and will produce a local version at its studios in Beirut, Lebanon, along with coproducer Sony Pictures Television Arabia, which represents Talpa formats in the region. Auditions are being organized in territories including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco.

“Talent shows have positively affected the TV viewing habits, patterns and trends in the region, while further enhancing the family viewing experience and raising the levels of engagement with TV content, through social media and other platforms,” said MBC’s group TV director Ali Jaber in a statement.

“In the Western world, The Voice is recognized as a new generation in its genre,” added Maarten Meijs, MD of Talpa Distribution, the owner of the format. “We trust the same will happen in the MENA region, regardless of cultural differences, as all people love music and have their one unique language to discuss who and what they like the most.”

The Voice debuted in the Netherlands in 2010 as The Voice of Holland. The singing competition has been picked up by 45 broadcasters around the world, including NBC in the United States, TF1 in France and the BBC in the UK.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.