x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Showtime, Orbit to keep brand identities after merger

Showtime and Orbit will keep their separate brands in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

The merged Showtime and Orbit, which carries shows such as the animated film Winnie the Pooh, will continue to manage separate brand identities.
The merged Showtime and Orbit, which carries shows such as the animated film Winnie the Pooh, will continue to manage separate brand identities.

Showtime and Orbit will keep their separate brands in the Middle East for the foreseeable future, even as the companies that own them merge into a single entity called Panther Media Group, according to the company's chief executive. Marc-Antoine d'Halluin, the chief executive of Panther Media Group, said it would be a waste to discard the brand recognition and loyalty that both Orbit and Showtime had built up in the region over the past 15 years.

"What we've got in Orbit and Showtime is two of the better known brands in the whole region across all sectors," he said. "Why would we walk away from juicing these two great brands, bringing them together and making the customer feel that they have two for the price of one, as opposed to introducing a new brand that nobody would know about, and that we would need to market? Frankly, it doesn't make sense to do that."

Showtime and Orbit announced their merger on July 12 without naming the new entity, referring to it throughout the press conference with the placeholder name NewCo. On August 14th, it launched its revamped pay-TV bouquet with 75 channels of news, entertainment and sport, including high-definition broadcasts of the English Premier League matches. With the announcement, a new name settled into place.

"We call it Orbit Showtime," Mr d'Halluin said. "It's certainly fine for the time being. At some point in the future, there will be an evolution, and when we are ready to communicate that, we will."