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Middle East Broadcasting Center
Type Private
Founded UK, 1991
Headquarters Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Key people Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim, Chairman
Industry Broadcasting

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) is a Saudi-run company broadcasting a mix of free-to-air news and entertainment channels via satellite. It was launched on September 18, 1991 as the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation,[citation needed] initially broadcasting from London in the United Kingdom. Since 2002, its headquarters have been in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates.



MBC is a leading free-to-air, pan-Arab, news and entertainment broadcaster.[1] It was launched in 1991 as the first privately owned and independent Arabic satellite TV station.[1]

On its launch, MBC became the first broadcaster to create a satellite-based free-to-air 24-hour television network across the Arab world. It has remained privately owned, managed by a group of businessmen and shareholders, including chairman and CEO Sheikh Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al Brahim. The shareholder list has never been verified, although it is generally believed that only the Saudi royal family has enough capital to keep the company afloat.[citation needed]

In the past fifteen years or so, MBC has expanded into a multi-channel platform with a growing range of offerings for audiences of very different local cultures. The round-the-clock service has also appealed to the expatriate Arabic-speaking population and attracted high-profile multinational advertisers.[citation needed]

At its launch, MBC offered entertainment programmes that were already popular in the Middle East as well as top-rating shows from Western markets, in particular the United States and United Kingdom. The MBC News at 9:00pm became regularly viewed in the Arabic-speaking world.[citation needed]

MBC's television arm, MBC TV, broadcasts via the Egyptian-owned Nilesat 101/102/103 and Arabsat satellites.

Today, MBC delivers news and quality family entertainment to more than 150 million Arabic speakers around the world.

Over the past fifteen years, MBC has grown into a multi-channel platform with a growing range of offerings for a Pan Arab audience of different local cultures, tastes and requirements. MBC Headquarters is located in Dubai Media City. The company has more than 1,000 staff members worldwide.

The first station in the group, MBC1 has retained its leadership position in the region since its launch. The channel offers offer both Arabic entertainment (With a mix of in-house productions and a carefully crafted acquisitions policy) and news content.

Immediately after its launch, MBC News at 9pm, with its wide-ranging coverage of domestic and international news, became appointment viewing for a major cross-section of the Arab speaking world. Even after the subsequent growth in Arab TV news media and the launch of MBC’s own 24 hour news station – Al Arabiya, MBC News at 9pm is still a popular news show for many viewers.

Building on the success of News at 9pm, and in response to the perceived need from the Arabic audience, Al Arabiya was launched in March 2003 as a 24-hour free-to-air news and current affairs station. Within only months, Al Arabiya grew to become a popular source of news and information amongst Arab viewers in the region and in the world, the station has consistently rated among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences.

MBC2 is the first free-to-air 24 hour movie channel in the world featuring both top-rated Hollywood bluckbusters and an array of B-movies.

MBC3 was one of the first to broadcast a programming schedule devoted entirely to children.

The recently reformatted MBC4 is now completely dedicated to women’s programming, through top-rating programs across a variety of TV genres, including comedy, talk shows, drama and reality TV.

MBC group leadership demanded an integrated portfolio of services which led MBC to launch O3 as a specialized documentary production unit. Its work has been recognised in several international film and TV festivals.

MEN (Middle East News) is a news and information provider that serves a fast growing number of clients, including MBC, Al Arabiya, MBC-FM and Panorama. MEN also serves a growing number of external clients who take advantage of its international network of correspondents

MBC channels

All of MBC channel are free-to-air channels.

  • MBC 1

Airing Arabic entertainment and hourly news to all over the Arab World.

  • MBC 2

Bills itself as the world's first free-to-air and non stop Blockbuster movie channel, showing a wide range of Hollywood movies, some first run and a library of repeat showings. The channel broadcasts all films with their original English soundtrack and Arabic subtitles, gaining a somewhat cult following amongst English speakers in Europe and US troops stationed in the Middle East. It also broadcasts some content in other languages such as Chinese, Korean, and Arabic.

  • MBC 3

Airs shows for kids such as Even Stevens and Full House and Power Rangers and various cartoons from the Disney Channel such as Timon & Pumbaa and Kim Possible and in the morning a preschool kids show from Playhouse Disney and other cartoons and Japanese anime like Yu-gi-oh!, Transformers, Cyborg 009, Ōban Star-Racers. It also airs American, British or French shows like A.T.O.M., Jackie Chan Adventures, Dragon Hunters, CHAOTIC,TMNT, The Secret Show as well as a film for each weekend. Some cartoons are shown with Arabic subtitles while others are dubbed. All live action shows are subtitled.

  • MBC 4

Launched in 2005, and is primarily aimed at female audiences, the channel broadcasts many reality TV shows as Super Nanny, The Biggest Loser, American series such as Two and a Half Men, Six Degrees, Charmed, Big Love, Medium, Scrubs, Alias, Numb3rs, House, Friends, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, as well as famous recreational programs as the Oprah Winfrey Show, Entertainment Tonight, Insider, Inside Edition, The Late Show With David Letterman, The Doctors, Dr Phil, Rachael Ray, 60 minutes, 20/20 and CBS evening news.

MBC 4 made an extra coverage of the death of Michael Jackson in offering the last news of his death and broadcasting a many programs like:

Michael Jackson: The Life & The Death.

Michael Jackson: The Last Dance.

Michael Jackson: Number ones.

Michael Jackson: Memorial in Staples Center

The Special Entertainment Tonight & Insider: Michael Jackson Death: The Investigation.

  • MBC Action

Is a free-to-air channel 24 hours non stop that shows movies and television series from the action genre. Programs are subtitled in Arabic. MBC Action's TV series and Programs are: Lost, 24, TNA Xplosion,Prison Break, The 4400, Pimp my ride, Law & Order, Without a trace, NCIS, Top Gear, Nash Bridges, The Mentalist, Las Vegas, Entourage, Heroes, Jericho, Terminator, Fringe, The Unit, Monster Garage, X-Files, Six feet under, James Bond movies... and more of action films.

  • MBC+ Drama

A Pay Per View channel that can be viewed by subscribing to Orbit Showtime premium service.

  • MBC Persia

Also non stop Blockbuster movie channel, showing a wide range of Hollywood movies. MBC Persia broadcasts all films with their original English soundtrack with Persian subtitles.

  • Al Arabiya

Al Arabiya is a 24 hour international television news channel launched in 2003. It is a main competitor to Al Jazeera.[2]

  • MBC Max

A new channel similar to MBC 2 that broadcasts more demanding movie premieres and first-time-on-TVs. MBC MAX is aimed at a wider film audience, which limits the genre and content of films shown. The majority of the films shown on MBC MAX are comics, romantic comedies, epics, animated & family, softcore action, and certain dramas. The channel first aired on October 26, 2008 on 14:00 UTC.[3]


MBC-owned channel MBC 2 runs significantly censored films. Specifically, content involving drug abuse, sexual content, nudity and offensive language has been reworked or edited. (For instance, in Blow, the scene preceding the birth of Jung's daughter was cut to an incomprehensible 2 second series of key-frames.) This was done to protect the moral of MBC's audience, who are an Islamic majority. MBC's other free-to-air channels are also broadcasted with censored content, with each channel varying in censorship level. The MBC channel with the highest level of censorship is MBC 3.


External links


Channels websites

Simple English

Middle East Broadcasting Center know more popularly by its acronym (taking only the first letters of many words) MBC is a television channel showing cartoons and TV programmes which children like.


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