Pan-Arab broadcaster MBC has sealed a multi-year deal with FremantleMedia for three further seasons of the local Idol and Got Talent formats, along with three seasons of The X Factor and Project Runway.
"We are immensely proud to be the first company to have completed a deal of this magnitude with MBC Group. Together we have already launched the very successful pan-Arab versions of Arabs Got Talent and Arab Idol, both of which were propelled onto the international press stage," said Anahita Kheder, SVP, Middle East, Africa and South Eastern Europe, FremantleMedia International.
"The Middle East region has evolved a great deal in recent years with audiences wanting something a little special, and with the introduction of The X Factor and Project Runway, MBC will deliver just that."
Ali Jaber, MBC's director, TV, said the international formats had quickly became top-rated satellite TV shows in the region and created "unprecedented engagement" with audiences on multiple platforms.
"It only makes sense that we renew our contracts with FremantleMedia – thus keeping the momentum of these formats at its peak. We are delighted with this partnership that helps bring the best TV global practices to our region while allowing our own creative teams to excel, deliver and succeed," added Jaber.
While these formats are hugely popular in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the 2013 Arab Idol series also attracted the world's media. Mohammed Assaf, a former wedding singer from Gaza, generated audience shares over five times higher than the broadcaster average, before going on to be crowned Arab Idol that year.
Co-owned by Syco Entertainment and Fremantlemedia, the Got Talent format officially became the Guinness World Records' most successful reality TV format worldwide in April 2014, and has now been commissioned in 65 territories worldwide.
The Syco Entertainment owned and created format The X Factor is co-produced/licensed by FremantleMedia worldwide. The MBC deal will bring the localised version of the format to the Middle East for the first time, along with fashion reality format, Project Runway, which is owned by the Weinstein Company.