Unpaid bills may hinder deals

Territory report: Egypt

CAIRO — Egyptian TV programmers, dealing with a postwar environment, will be shopping tentatively at Mipcom.

Egypt TV international sales manager Maha Darwish — along with Egypt Radio and TV Union — will be attending.

Darwish says, “Egypt TV’s booth will have a special Egyptian design. We think it is important to sell to Arab channels attending at the beginning of our program schedule. We will market new social drama series we made for Ramadan like ‘Aunt Nour’ and ‘White by White,’ and our popular soaps like ‘Heart and Dilemna,’ starring actress Yousra, and ‘Amina from Algeen.'”

Some 2-year-old unpaid bills might have to be settled by Egypt TV before it can complete deals. According to one of the net’s sales reps, companies like Carlton, BBC and Fremantle are waiting for remuneration, holding up deals with Warners, Fox and Paramount.

ART channels will be condensing Arabic content by launching ART Aflam (ART Movies) 1 and 2, and the Showtime Al-Shasha Channel, which features Arabic films.

The same holds for once-soaring Egyptian private channel Dream TV.

CEO Mohamed Al-Gazaz says, “We won’t visit Mipcom this year because our strategy is to use more local programs.”

Some TV shows for Egyptian audiences are being rethought, says Cairo-based Nile Prods. director Khaled Alkhamissi. Previously popular local talkshows are losing ratings to Al-Jazeera, Abu Dhabi and Al-Arabiya news channels.

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