Extra: Syfy heads to MENA; Screen NSW, ABC launch arts doc fund

In today's 'Extra,' NBCUniversal Int'l Networks launches Syfy across the Middle East and North Africa, Screen NSW and ABC boost arts doc production and Travel Channel reels in IWC Media's Robson Green Grand Slam.
June 9, 2016

Syfy launches into Middle East, North Africa

NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUI) has launched science fiction entertainment channel Syfy into the Middle East and North Africa.

The channel will begin airing on July 8 across OSN, a 150-channel platform owned by Panther Media Group, with a host of original movies and series, including the reality-based competition series Face Off, in which make-up artists compete to create special effects. Arabic subtitles will be available for most content.

Syfy’s launch in the region follows the signing of an extended long-term partnership between OSN and NBCUI. OSN houses the widest choice of brand new premium Western, Arabic, South Asian and Filipino entertainment content throughout the Middle East and Africa.

“The addition of this globally renowned channel only on OSN further defines our credentials as the go-to network for all cutting edge content,” said Emad Morcos, chief content officer at OSN, in a statement.

Screen NSW, ABC up arts doc investment

Australian screen agency Screen NSW and Australian pubcaster ABC TV Arts have inked a three-year joint initiative to fund one new feature-length arts documentary per year.

The Screen NSW – ABC TV Arts Documentary Feature Fund will seek out and support New South Wales-based producers with feature length documentary projects. The selected film will enjoy its world premiere each June at the Sydney Film Festival before airing on ABC.

Screen NSW will contribute AUD$100,000 (US$74,000), with the ABC License adding an additional $150,000, to projects suitable for a wide primetime audience dealing with arts in the broadest sense. Film producers will need to secure remaining finances through various sources, such as distributors, international broadcasters, other state or federal agencies.

Applications are now open, and will close on July 10.

Travel Channel reels in IWC’s “Robson Green Grand Slam”

Scripps Networks Interactive has commissioned IWC Media’s lifestyle series Robson Green Grand Slam (working title) for Travel Channel across the UK and EMEA.

The 10 x 60-minute series will follow actor and fisherman Robson Green as he attempts to achieve the highest honor in fishing, the ‘Grand Slam,’ in which anglers catch three or more different species in a 24-hour period. Each episode will see Robson journeying across the globe to acclaimed fishing locations in Costa Rica, Florida, Senegal and Alaska.

The series, which began filming in May, is set to premiere earlier next year.

Robson Green Grand Slam was commissioned by Kevin Dickie, senior VP of channels, and Gareth Williams, VP of commissioning, at Scripps Networks Interactive, UK & EMEA.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.