BBC Worldwide Channels has admitted that commercial success in the Middle East would prompt the broadcaster to invest in creating Arabic language content locally.
The organisation is currently responsible for BBC Lifestyle and BBC Prime, the latter of which will soon be rebranded as BBC Entertainment, but is now looking to expand its Middle East operations, commencing with the creation of a local ad sales business.
“The evolution once you put a local team on the ground is that they will go out and enhance your local marketing and research but we also have to look at local production operations,” said Dean Possenniskie, general manager and senior vice president EMEA, BBC Worldwide Channels.
“At the moment we’re building our channels to be the showcase for British content, but in the markets where we have been for a while we are considering localised channels, local language, marketing and dedicated teams on the ground,” said Possenniskie.
“The next step after this is obviously to look at local production in the region. We will look at proposals from producers based there, particularly around lifestyle formats and pre-school programming.”
With a sales team already in place in Dubai for BBC World News, Possenniskie is confident that the foundations for a commercial business in the Middle East have already been laid.