The Orbit Showtime merger was under discussion as long as four years ago, according to a senior executive from the holding company that owns the merged entity.
Faisal Al Ayyar, vice chairman of KIPCO claimed that the deal was in the best interests of both the pre-merged entities and their subscribers. KIPCO was the major stakeholder in Showtime Arabia prior to KIPCO’s acquisition of Orbit’s TV business.
“In any region in the world, having three pay TV operators in the market is a formidable challenge,” said Al Ayyar, when asked if Showtime could have continued to survive on its own at a conference during the Media and Marketing Show in Dubai.
“We had been looking at distribution rights, technical investments and possible merger and acquisition activity. We believe this was in the best interests of consumers,” added Al Ayyar. “The number of costs were greater [before the merger] and it seemed we were competing just for the sake of funding our own buildings.”
Al Ayyar also called for traditional media companies to consider the diversification currently at work in the telecoms market, when they look at their own businesses.
“The revenues of the telcos in this region are about 80 percent voice based. The same situation could be applied to the media. We need to look at new applications and services.”