Tuesday 8, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: His Highness Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Information, today opened CABSAT 2016 – the definitive event for broadcast, satellite and entertainment content sectors across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

With more than 950 brands from 60 countries participating at the region’s premier media and content event, Al Maktoum was guided through the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) exhibition by His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.
With the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) media market expected to grow from US$16 billion in 2014 to US$24 billion in 2019 according to Strategy&, the global analyst division of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, more than 13,000 local, regional and international media industry professionals are expected to attend the event, which ends on Thursday.
“CABSAT continues to serve as the strategic entry-point to a buoyant regional media landscape that is currently transitioning – in-line with global audience demands – from High Definition TV, to Ultra HD and 4K TV,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
“With more than 900 free to air TV channels currently serving TV viewers across the Arab world and hundreds more Pay TV channels also fighting for audience share, CABSAT will shine a torch on the abundant disruptive and transformative monetisation avenues for satellite providers, telcos, broadcasters, content producers, independent entertainment providers Internet Protocol Television and Over The Top channels.”
With international OTT trend-setter Netflix recently rolling its service out across 130 global markets including MENA, other major industry moves in recent months include Qatar’s beIN Media Group announcing a beIN Movies service and the acquisition of Hollywood studio Miramax earlier this week.
Elsewhere, UAE-based OSN has enhanced its service offering, while a number of regional telcos including Etisalat, du and Ooredoo have made announcements about new service offerings and content partnerships in different markets. Satellite providers are also switching their collective attentions from transmission to content and CABSAT exhibitor Yahlive launched Fashion One 4K – its first MENA-wide, free-to-air 4K channel – on Sunday.

That trend looks certain to continue. According to a pan-MENA research study conducted by Ipsos, an average of 54% of Arab internet users have paid for content online over the past 12 months – particularly driven by smartphone platforms – as consumers are increasingly used to paying for mobile apps and games. This ‘a la carte’ model of direct purchases will grow significantly as more content becomes available for On Demand purchase, adds the report.
Amid this ‘anywhere, anytime’ trend, CABSAT 2016 is hosting more than 500 local, regional and international content buyers at the first Content Marketplace presented by CABSAT title sponsor Selevision. A dedicated arena for TV and film content creators, production houses and studios, distributors of content, producers, editors and advertising houses, the new platform facilitates the buying, selling and exploration of co-production opportunities for the Arabic entertainment content market.

The Content Marketplace has attracted more than 30 brands including India’s largest music broadcaster, 9X Media, Selevision, Rajshri, AP International, NBC Universal, ITV Studios, Talpa, Starzplay, Zee Entertainment, Fox International, MBC Group’s 03 Productions, Milimages and various regional broadcast pavilion organisers including the Nigerian Broadcast Commission – the first time a West African pavilion has participated at the show.

The Content Marketplace presented by CABSAT is also housing this year’s ‘Red Carpet Meetings Lounge’ – a revamped meetings programme for regional and international studio production teams to forge new business relationships in all aspects of the electronic media market – and a purpose-built Screening Theatre presented with Selevision, which is airing an exclusive programme of filmed entertainment content.