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Oct 18 2007

Arab Media Group and MTV Networks International to launch Nickelodeon Arabia in 2008

Arab Media Group and MTV Networks International to launch Nickelodeon Arabia in 2008
1st Global Kids' Brand To Create An Arabic Free-to-Air Channel Across The Middle East, With A Potential Audience Of 190 Million
DUBAI, 18 October 2007 - Arab Media Group (AMG) , the largest media group in the United Arab Emirates, and MTV Networks International (MTVNI) today announced the expansion of their long-term partnership to launch Nickelodeon Arabia, a localised, Arabic language free-to-air channel dedicated exclusively to kids across the Middle East.

With this agreement, Nickelodeon will be the first global kids' media brand to create a free-to-air Arabic service across the region, while being respectful and reflective of local culture and values. The channel will fall under the umbrella of Arabian Television Network (ATN), AMG 's TV broadcasting arm that also incorporates the soon-to-launch MTV Arabia and three other stations that will launch before the end of 2007.

The 24-hour channel - slated to launch in 2008 - will broadcast via satellite to 36 million TV households, with a potential audience of 190 million people across the region. Programming will include a mix of international content from Nickelodeon's extensive global portfolio and original local Arabic productions. The channel will be supported by an Arabic website which will provide users with a comprehensive online community and a wide range of interactive elements. Nickelodeon is the most widely distributed kids' brand in the world, and has built a diverse global portfolio by creating and packaging multi-platform branded content dedicated to connecting with kids.

Abdullatif Al Sayegh, CEO of Arab Media Group, commented: "Arab Media Group is dedicated to providing audiences in this region with what they want to see, hear and read. Through our extensive understanding of the market, we have identified entertainment niches that were ripe for opportunity, and quality children's programming is certainly one of them. Nickelodeon will provide the best in world-standard entertainment for children, raising standards in the region and setting a strong precedent for the future."

Bhavneet Singh, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets Group, MTVNI, commented: "We are really proud to announce our continued partnership Arab Media Group to make the Nickelodeon brand available to kids across the Middle East and the Gulf. The launch of Nickelodeon Arabia is a part of our wider, ongoing multi-platform strategy encompassing consumer products, digital media, hotels and theme parks, which we hope will establish Nickelodeon as the premier destination for kids in the region."

The partnership between AMG and MTVNI Emerging Markets signals the next step in establishing a multi-brand, multi-platform MTVNI portfolio across the Middle East. MTV Arabia, the region's first and only youth lifestyle brand, is set to launch next month in partnership with AMG . The fully localised, free-to-air channel will showcase both international and Arabic music as well as a balanced mix of international MTV content, Arabic productions of popular MTV formats and local original programming concepts. Discussions are also currently under way regarding consumer products, recreation and digital rights opportunities in the region.

Bill Roedy, Vice Chairman, MTV Networks commented: "Adding the voices of Arab children to our worldwide Nickelodeon family is a significant milestone in our history, and advances our ambitious strategy to build a portfolio of integrated kids businesses across the region. The Middle East is a dynamic, thriving market with vast growth opportunities, and we look forward to launching even more MTVNI brands and businesses through our successful partnership with AMG ."

MTVNI's Emerging Markets is the fastest growing region in the company's portfolio of multi-platform businesses. The Emerging Markets group manages 21 television channels, 19 websites, two broadband channels and three mobile TV channels encompassing the MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, VIVA and Comedy Central brands in Russia, Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. MTVNI is owned by Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).


-Ends-

About Arab Media Group:
Arab Media Group is the largest media group in the UAE, with approximately 1,500 employees. It is the UAE's largest radio operator, with eight radio stations under Arabian Radio Network. AMG 's other business ventures include Awraq Publishing, a publishing house with three daily newspapers under its umbrella; Arabian Television Network; Masar Printing; Done Events, which manages events from entertainment to weddings; and outdoor advertising division Shoof Outdoor.

About Arabian Television Network:
Arabian Television Network (ATN) is a subsidiary of Arab Media Group. ATN features a series of free-to-air satellite TV channels and digital broadcast services in English and Arabic across the Middle East. 4 new multi-national, multilingual and multi-format channels will be launched, offering diverse programming to the region's local and expatriate population, with a focus on home-grown talent and productions.

About MTV Networks International:
MTV Networks International includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV: Music Television, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), VIVA, Flux, Paramount Comedy, Game One and IFILM. MTV Networks' brands are seen in 505.3 million households in 160 countries and 28 languages via more than 135 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 260 digital media properties. The company's diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

About Nickelodeon:
Nickelodeon is the most widely distributed kids' network in the world and the only multimedia entertainment brand dedicated exclusively to them. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital media, recreation, publishing, music and feature films. First launched in the US in 1979, Nickelodeon today consists of 35 channels, 19 branded programme blocks, 10 mobile TV channels, 53 web sites plus TurboNick, Nickelodeon's broadband video service in Australia, the US, Latin America and Europe.

© Press Release 2007


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