Dubai and London — Tuesday 2 November 2010 — In a further expansion of its international production business, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) today announced the formation of a new production company to serve the Arabic speaking market, fronted by local production executives, Ziad Kebbi and Dany Karam. The announcement was made by Kees Abrahams, president, international production, SPT.
The new company, called Sony Pictures Television Arabia FZ-LLC (SPT Arabia), is based in Dubai with production offices in Cairo and in Beirut. Kebbi and Karam, who jointly lead the company, now represent SPT's extensive catalogue of scripted and non-scripted programming targeting broadcast clients in twenty two countries spanning Iraq to Morocco.
Commenting, Abrahams said: "The Arabic-speaking countries represent an exciting market for SPT with a growing appetite for high quality, scripted and non-scripted content. With our vast catalogue of library and current formats along with Ziad and Dany, who are two experienced and talented executives, we are now in an even stronger position to grow our production business across this important market."
"I'm delighted to be part of SPT, one of the world's leading entertainment companies" said Kebbi. "SPT Arabia will tap into the global knowledge and resources of SPT and will lean on our local market knowledge to bring the most compelling and most entertaining programming to TV viewers in the Middle East".
"Superna has played an integral role in the growth of our international channels business and we'll continue to count on her expertise in the management of Sony Movie Channel," said Kaplan. "I'm thrilled to broaden her responsibilities as her clear vision for the network makes her the ideal candidate to lead SPT in this new direction."
Ziad Kebbi and Dany Karam have been active in the entertainment industry in the Middle East for 20 years with extensive experience in content acquisition, production and distribution. They hold strong ties with all the major broadcasters operating across the Arab world and have successfully produced high quality television programming in both Cairo and Beirut. In 2004, they founded Elements TV, a television production company based in Beirut and Dubai which delivered and produced shows such as The Celebrity Farm, Deal or No Deal and Take it or Leave it.
The formation of SPT Arabia is the latest development in the ongoing growth of SPT's international production business. In July, SPT announced the formation of Floresta in Brazil headed up by Elisabetta Zenatti. SPT is also represented in Latin America by Teleset based in Colombia. The company has also strengthened its presence in Europe with offices serving the Benelux region, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. In Russia, SPT is represented by Lean-M while in the US, SPT acquired Embassy Row in 2008.
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Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television, first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry's largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Internationally, SPT is a leader in local language productions around the world, some of which are co-produced with local partners, and sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries. To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 122 channel feeds, which are available in more than 140 countries reaching almost 438 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns Dutch entertainment company 2waytraffic, production company Embassy Row and an HD movie channel, and is a part owner of cable channel GSN, a new 3D channel joint venture with Discovery and IMAX, FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT's syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States. SPT www.sonypicturestelevision.com is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
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