BBC Studios, Qatar’s beIN Pact to Produce Content for Middle East and Turkey

BBC Studios and Qatar’s beIN Media Group, owner of Miramax Films, have announced a partnership to jointly develop, co-produce, and distribute content in Qatar, the Middle East and Turkey.

A memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday between Paul Dempsey, president for global markets at BBC Studios, and Yousef Al-Obaidly, beIN’s Deputy CEO, at BBC Studios’ London headquarters for a renewable three-year agreement that expands their ties beyond existing BBC content carriage deals on the beIN pay-TV platform across the Middle East and North Africa and on its fully owned Turkish pay-TV service, Digiturk.

Earlier this year, beIN launched BBC Earth, the BBC Studios’ global factual brand, as a linear channel across the MENA region. BBC Earth and kiddie channel CBeebies are available in Turkey on Digiturk.

The tie-up with the BBC marks beIN’s first significant foray into production of original content for the MENA region and Turkey, even though details on the types of content are being kept under wraps.

“This MOU builds on BBC Studios’ successful existing partnership with beIN Media Group and stands to bring our expertise in development and production to an even wider international audience,” Dempsey said in a statement.

Al-Obaidly called the agreement “a new milestone of cultural collaboration between our organizations, bringing together two of the strongest global entertainment brands to deliver stand-out original content, cutting-edge innovation and, ultimately, more value to our customers.” He went on to add that he was also “delighted to support BBC Studios’ intention to explore broader business opportunities together with beIN Media Group in Qatar.”

BeIN, which is a spin-off of the Al Jazeera news network, has been shaking up the Middle East pay-TV market since 2015, when it branched out from sports into general entertainment, feeding its new entertainment channels via deals with AMC Networks, Warner Bros. TV and CBS Studios, among others, as well as with its purchase of Miramax in 2016. 

According to analysts, thanks primarily to its strong sports offer, the beIN pay-TV platform could soon overtake its main competitor, OSN, even though OSN has long-term deals in place with most Hollywood studios.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation

    Kevin Smith Announces Anime 'He-Man' Series for Netflix

    Kevin Smith surprised audiences at Sunday’s annual Power-Con convention by announcing a new anime “He-Man” series for Netflix. The new series, titled “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” will take place in the Mattel toy inspired world and will focus on some of the unresolved storylines of the classic ‘80s show. Smith will serve as showrunner [...]

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content