DigitalproductionME.com can confirm that the Middle East's two biggest pay TV operators, Showtime Arabia and Orbit have officially merged.
The deal was signed between Marc-Antoine d'halluin, CEO of Showtime Arabia and Orbit’s CEO Samir Abdulhadi at the Orbit headquarters in Bahrain today.
Despite strong denials of a potential merger from both factions, DPME.com reported two weeks ago that a merger was certainly being contemplated. The coupling was nicknamed “Shorbit” by one reader.
Rumours that engineers had been laid off from the Orbit camp in anticipation of the move were rife in recent weeks, and more job losses are anticipated.
Orbit is presently the biggest provider of Arabic content in the region while Showtime's forte is content catering to Western expatriates.
In previous years, d'halluin had stated that it was difficult for pay TV operators to compete in an environment where there were more than 470 free TV operators.
The only true remaining contender in the region’s pay TV industry is ART, which provides a combination of mostly Arabic and Indian content.
Check DPME.com for further updates as this story unfolds.