• Publication date: October 27, 2013

MBC GROUP’S EVOLUTION INTO HIGH DEFINITION

In line with MBC Group’s growth strategy, and offering its audience the best quality of content everywhere, MBC Group was the first FTA broadcaster in the region to migrate from SD (Standard Definition) to HD (High Definition) back in July 2011. With an initial offering of 7 HD channels, today the Group has added two more to My-HD offering, namely MBC3 HD and MBC Persia.

In line with MBC Group’s growth strategy, and offering its audience the best quality of content everywhere, MBC Group was the first FTA broadcaster in the region to migrate from SD (Standard Definition) to HD (High Definition) back in July 2011. With an initial offering of 7 HD channels, today the Group has added two more to My-HD offering, namely MBC3 HD and MBC Persia.

This evolution over the years only reflects the Group’s commitment to providing the latest technologies, coupled with the best TV content, in quantity & quality, as well as performance.

 The Group’s move and migration from SD to HD continues to grow at a perpetual rate and becomes the trend as the number of MBC HD compatible satellite/DTH Set Top Boxes increases across the region.

 From his end, Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO commented: “Today, we estimate that 1.5m households have HD receivers and are able to see MBC HD channels. Unfortunately there may be double that number who have an HD television but haven’t yet got the correct set top box to enable them to see HD broadcasts. Unfortunately for these people, they won’t be able to get the full benefit of their investment and enjoy the full HD TV experience”. He further added: “The challenge is that people don’t buy the appropriate set top box when they convert to HD. And because HD channels are encrypted, people need to ensure that they only purchase an HD box that is able to receive and decrypt the MBC HD channels. Luckily, such boxes are available widely and our intention is to assure and make the MBC HD channels available through as many platforms as possible, while ensuring a steady growth in HD penetration as people replace their TV sets”.

 He added, “As the number of HD households increase, we will start to reduce our SD output. We have little interest in paying millions to support old technology that delivers a lower quality product. The recent shift of MBC Persia to an HD platform, namely My-HD, is one step in this direction. We want to encourage people to get the appropriate HD set top box as they upgrade their televisions over time.

From an acquisition point of view, Carlie Goode, Acquisitions Manager at MBC Group said: “Our HD channels give us the opportunity to deliver the great content that we benefit from via our deals with the major Hollywood Studios and other important suppliers in a form that our viewers want”.

In closing, Barnett stated: “As with many technologies, people overestimate uptake in the short term and underestimate it in the longer term. HD had a reasonably slow start – however we have now reached a critical mass of channels, and solid and steady growth continues with the HD numbers. This will accelerate, as viewers who become used to watching in HD are very unlikely to convert back to SD – so the transition is unrelenting, and constitutes a major transition in the industry, similar to the viewing experience in coloured TV that replaced black and white decades ago”.