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MTV launches Hebrew service

IPTV service targets Israel

LONDON — MTV Networks Intl. has launched its first local MTV service in Israel, a Hebrew-language Internet offering in partnership with local media combo Ananey Communications.

The IPTV initiative is another sign of the Viacom-owned music giant beefing up its activities in the Middle East.

MTV Israel provides local auds with indigenous fare plus tried-and-tested shows from the MTV stable such as “Punk’d,” “Pimp My Ride,” “Beavis and Butt-head” and “The Virgin Diaries,” all translated into Hebrew.

Local programs include “Ha’Mahadura,” showcasing celebrity and music news, and “Ha’Monit,” an animated skein also featuring Israeli celebs.

Bhavneet Singh, managing director and senior vice president, emerging markets, MTVNI said: “There is an incredibly high Internet penetration in Israel with more than 75% of the population connected and a huge percentage of those people with broadband.”

The combo already runs a Hebrew language version of Nickelodeon while English-language service, MTV European, is broadcast to 1.4 million Israeli households, according to MTV.

Next month Dubai-based MTV Arabia will bow in partnership with the Arab Media Group.