Sony Pictures Television is expanding its footprint in the Arabic world with its own Arabic version of hit telenovela “Betty La Fea” (Ugly Betty) which will air on small but prominent Middle East and North Africa (MENA) pay TV network Orbit Showtime Network (OSN).
Titled “Hebal Regal El Ghorab” (Crow’s Foot) in Arabic the “Ugly Betty” adaptation is developed and produced by SPT Arabia, based on the original format from RCN, and is due to premiere on OSN in January 2014.
OSN has aquired all 90 episodes of the Arabic “Ugly Betty series.
Furthermore, OSN has acquired the exclusive premiere window for season three of “El bab x el bab,” SPT Arabia’s local adaptation of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” OSN has also licensed the first two seasons of the Arab language sitcom.
In a statement Ziad Kebbi, president of SPT Arabia, boasted that SPT Arabia is leading the way in adapting international series for Arab audiences.
“Hebal Regal El Ghorab” is SPT Arabia’s latest local production of a hit global series, bringing its Arabic scripted catalogue to over 150 hours.
SPT has already successfully adapted “Betty La Fea” in Russia and “Everybody Loves Raymond” in Russia and Poland.
SPT Arabia was established in November 2010 with offices in Dubai, Cairo and Beirut. The company represents SPT’s extensive catalogue, as well as third parties, across 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
OSN, considered the leading pay-TV player in the nascent MENA pay-TV market, had 734,000 subscribers at the end of 2012, of which 29 percent were in the United Arab Emirates, 24 percent in Saudi Arabia and 14 percent in Qatar.