History of the group
The beginning of MBC’s independent satellite broadcasting gave rise to a new entertainment era in Arabia. This new wave of entertainment reached the Arab community around the world through fun, engaging and informative content.
Being the first private and non-encrypted free-to-air Arabic satellite channel, MBC TV was a pioneer in this domain, shouldering the responsibility of being creative and innovative with its content that is broadcasted to millions across the world.
After the resounding success in the field of Television broadcasting, MBC extended its reach into radio broadcasting, by launching the first private radio station live on air, MBC FM, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The key to MBC FM’s success is the local flavor of its content, tailored to popularly suit the Saudi society’s tastes and values; combining Khaliji music, side by side with entertainment and poetry.
All these factors played a major role in helping MBC FM become the No. 1 station in KSA, enabling it to control the majority share of the local advertising market.
Driven by its passion to harness all its capabilities and not merely broadcasting the best news and shows in the world; MBC group launched a new production company, “O3 Production”, in 2002. The company specializes in the production and acquisition of programs, both for the group and/or independent customers. It is also considered as one of the top production companies specializing in high quality documentaries and shows in the region.
MBC Group launched MBC 2in January 2003, offering Arab viewers around the world an opportunity to enjoy some of the most successful programs and movies from Universal Studios.
MBC 2 was the first and the only non-encrypted free-to-air channel in the world that offered movies on the clock, and thus became the new home for Hollywood entertainment in the Middle East.
In March 2003, MBC launched AL-ARABIYA, which quickly garnered the accolades and the prestige, as a source of accurate, trustworthy and a credible news destination.
Having become the source of the latest finance and business news, the channel launched “AL-ARABIYA Business” to provide business leaders and decision-makers with the latest news and continuous development of financial market, and the top news and analysis on various other sectors and markets relevant to their spectrums.
Under the slogan "the sweetest people", MBC3 was launched in 2004 to join the rest of the MBC family. The objective of the MBC 3 TV Channel was to provide a balanced mix between entertainment and educational programs, targeting a wide range of kids’ segment from 3-year olds to 13-year olds. The channel helped enrich the minds and imagination of kids by enforcing creativity & communication skills through online content & services. Moreover, MBC3.NET’s online experience offers many features; and the most popular of them all is the diverse variety of games that range from Action Games to Kitchen themed among many others. The channel aspires to communicate with younger people through its programs and motivate them to participate and express themselves, contributing to the upbringing of a whole generation at par with the pace of its times.
Almost 10 years after the launch of ‘MBC FM Radio’, “ a sister radio channel, ‘Panorama FM’, initiated by MBC in 1994, joined in to help promote the field of radio broadcasting. From the moment it was launched, Panorama FM succeeded in establishing its own identity, targeting the Saudi youth in specific, and the Arab world in general, through a variety of talk-shows and distinctive Arabic music that suited the tastes and expectations of young Arab youth wherever they were.
After establishing a significant presence in the market, MBC group became an industry leader by launching MBC 4, a channel that attracted Arab families all over the world through an integrated package of programs.
The channel displayed the latest shows and programs that have achieved high viewership ratings, ranging from soap operas and talk shows, to comedies and light entertainment shows. Also, overtime, the channel became the number one source of Drama and entertainment in the Arab world.
2007 witnessed another major milestone for the Group, with the launch of the adrenaline packed channel, MBC ACTION, which offered the latest action packed movies, dramas and thrillers and became an instant success.
Since then, the channel has flourished and attracted a lot of Arab youth through its localized content that appeals to the passions of young Arab men. It went on to broadcast popular television shows such as Driven, the premier car magazine show which was launched on 23 November 2010 followed by Action Ya Dawry in 2011, hosted by Walid Al Farraj, which is regarded as the most controversial and influential Saudi league talk show. Desert Force events were launched in 2012 followed by the reality show desert force Al Academiya in November 2013.
Motivated by its commitment to provide and nurture the rising artistic talents, MBC established ‘Platinum Records’ in the same year, a company which operates under the slogan ‘Creating the Stars’, and is active in the entire Arab world. However, the company's work isn’t limited to the discovery of new emerging talents, but also plays an essential role in the marketing of songs and music in the Arab world.
2007 also witnessed the launch of the channel ‘Wanassa’, a musicchannel catering and targeting the Arab youth, especially in the Gulf region.
There was always a place for Romance and Comedy within MBC’s portfolio of Channels, so it was not a surprise when the group launched MBC MAX in 2008. The channel is the second free-to-air channel specializing in the presentation of Western movies in the Arab world. MBC MAX offers the most celebrated romantic, action and comedy films, that satisfy younger members of the family while offering fun and entertainment for the whole household.
2009 saw the launch of MBC + DRAMA, an encrypted television channel, broadcasting a combination of popular Arabic serials and Arabic dubbed soaps around the clock.
MBC + DRAMA was a joint cooperation between two leaders - MBC and OSN.
In 2010, MBC DRAMA was launched, giving viewers 24-hours access to a variety of Gulf, Syrian and Egyptian dramas. After the initial broadcast, episodes of the shows were re-aired twice on the same day to give viewers a chance to watch their favorite dramas at a time that suited their routine.
July 2011 witnessed the re-launch of "SHAHID.NET", the first Arab "video on demand" platform in the Middle East. SHAHID.NET was the first online platform of its kind that displayed exclusive MBC programs, as well as contentfrom other Arab production sources in the region.
The new experience of “SHAHID.NET” offers a variety of new options, presented in an easy to use interface; enabling viewers to access the site’s archives through the largest television library in the region. This gave them unlimited access to all previously aired shows that they might have missed or simply wished to watch again.
In the same month, MBC launched its HD "High-quality TV" option for all its channels. The new technology allows viewers to watch their favorite TV programs in quality that is 4 times clearer than what regular broadcasting allows.
Being the largest in the Arab world in terms of population and as the largest production hub of Arabic drama, the Egyptian market was never absent from the interest of MBC. So in November 2012, the MBC Group launched MBC MASR to provide excellent coverage of the Egyptian affairs in all its dimensions.
Since its launch, MBC MASR distinguished itself by keeping pace with events on the ground and broadcastings exclusive interviews with senior officials and politicians in Egypt.
In May 2012, the Group launched Eventique, an event planner and weddings specialist agency.
MBC took a new leap in 2013, but this time they headed towards the Indian subcontinent, where the group launched ‘MBC BOLLYWOOD’ on the 26th of October. The channel provides its viewers with a diverse collection of the latest and most distinguished Bollywood film productions, as well as Arabic dubbed Bollywood productions. The channel also featured a number of shows that highlights the lives and achievements of Bollywood celebrities in the Indian and international festivals circuit.
The same year saw the launch of the MBC VARIETY TV channel. The channel broadcasts a mix of foreign series, along with sitcoms and films that offer exclusive programs and premiers, in addition to the many successful talk shows. By working under the slogan ‘No to brand advertisements’, the channel has distinguished itself with its non-stop viewing experience, completely free of interruptions.
In June 2013, the Group launched the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, MBC Hope, which maintains its obligation to moral and ethical commitment to the community. The first initiative within this context was the campaign ‘chirp well’ in September of the same year. Other campaigns followed, including the ‘Syrians with no address’, ‘Train For Aim’ and ‘Stars On Board’, among many others.
In order to maintain its unrivaled leadership in the service of its viewers, MBC Group works diligently to develop new podiums, innovative media platforms, and effective communication channels catering to tens of millions of MBC fans around the globe, to keep a lasting impression and a special place in their hearts and minds, for the MBC group of channels.