Scandi fare for Dubai TV

Pact includes 'Friends Forever,' 'Combo,' 'Sellers'

AMSTERDAM — United Arab Emirates state broadcaster Dubai Television has picked up four formats from Scandinavian format distrib MTV Mastiff Intl., the commercial arm of the MTV Mastiff Group.

Deal for the formats “Friends Forever,” “Combo,” “Super Sellers” and “Wonderworld” marks the largest volume of formats sold into the Middle East so far by MTV Mastiff.

“Despite the fact they were developed in the frozen north, these formats are based on universal values such as close friendships and family ties — values that are very much appreciated in the Middle East,” said Jan Salling, sales manager for MTV Mastiff Intl.

Broadcast laws in the Arab countries favor family programming. “These formats are neither edgy nor provocative, like many lifestyle and reality shows currently being produced today,” Salling told Daily Variety.

Lebanon’s Future TV is in production on MTV Mastiff’s “If,” and MBC last year broadcast MTV Mastiff format “Get Hypnotized.”

Dubai Television has a potential reach of some 150 million viewers in Arabic-speaking countries.

Friend-testing gameshow “Friends Forever” and youth-targeted music gamer “Combo” are expected to air in July, while charity-meets-reality show “Wonderworld” is set to begin production in September. An early 2005 date has been set for the launch of sales gameshow “Super Sellers.”