x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Online television a hit in region

More than eight million MBC programmes have been viewed online since the company teamed up with Etisalat.

More than eight million MBC programmes have been viewed online since the company teamed up with Etisalat to launch a joint internet television platform last Ramadan, the companies announced today. The venture represents the Middle East's first tie-up between a telecommunications operator and a media company to provide advertising-supported internet television, a business model that has become increasingly common in more developed markets as high-speed broadband penetration grows.

"Having a good number of people watching video streaming on demand on the web, with all the issues regarding quality and speed considered, shows that this new medium has a future and deserves investment," said Dr Ammar Bakkar, MBC's group director of new media. "It makes sense to promote it and have strategies built around it." According to Etisalat's analysis, more than three million visitors, 65 per cent of whom were from the Middle East, have viewed the videos on MBC's Shahed Online service, which is powered by Etisalat's technology.

Dr Bakkar said the high viewership figures prove that internet television can be an attractive medium for advertisers, who so far have run more than five million advertisements at the beginning of MBC online programmes and hundreds of thousands after the start. MBC and Etisalat share profits from the venture. khagey@thenational.ae