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|| MTV Enters the Middle East

Viacom’s MTV arrived in the Middle East. MTV Arabia is their brand and AMG is their local partner. Yesterday Akon and Ludacris, two big names in hip-hop, were here in Dubai to attend the launch event. They have even started expanding their presence right away: Nickelodeon Arabia is planned to launch in 2008.

At first look, it doesn’t sound like a big deal: MTV Networks' brands are already seen in 505 million households in 160 countries and 28 languages via more than 135 locally programmed and operated TV channels. (They even have MTV Adria). But Middle East is a huge and untapped market and they know it: Tim Kash, MTV’s correspondent who was here for the launch ceremony, writes on their company blog on how his boss warned him of the importance of this: “With 200 million viewers tuning in for the launch, don’t mess it up”!

And No, don’t worry about regional complexities: there will definitely be no Janet Jackson’s half-time moment: instead, as reported by Reuters, it will even have “animated call to prayer every Friday” …

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