MBC Group launches MBC Studios

Headed by Peter Smith, MBC Studios to provide premium content tailored to Saudi, Middle Eastern and other audiences across five continents
Sam Barnett and Peter Smith
Sam Barnett and Peter Smith


MBC Group today launched MBC Studios, a new subsidiary focusing on premium film and television content production in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. MBC Studios will build on the expertise of the Group’s production subsidiaries across the region including O3 Productions (MENA), AlSadaf (KSA), and O3 Medya (Turkey).

The launch of MBC Studios comes in the wake of a significant increase in demand for non-English language TV content for distribution in global markets. MBC Studios will take advantage of the wealth of MBC Group’s experience and delivery track-record in producing high-end content. 

To lead the new subsidiary, the Group has appointed Peter Smith, who joined earlier this month as Managing Director, MBC Studios. A well-known executive in international media production, Smith brings a wealth of international experience to the role. His past positions include President of International Home Entertainment at Universal Pictures; President of NBC Universal International; and CEO Scripted Business of Cineflix.

Peter Smith

Above: Peter Smith, Managing Director, MBC Studios

The group said in a statement, the primary objective of MBC Studios would be to focus on local and international film and TV drama series that would resonate with audiences in MENA. MBC Studios will take on projects to produce compelling stories from the region for consumption on cinema, television and on-demand platforms. MBC Group will release more details about the specific projects undertaken by MBC Studios in the coming months.

The statement announcing the launch went on to say that there exists an untapped story reservoir across genres in the Middle East and particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where production talent has been largely untapped. Content produced will be marketed globally and is expected to contribute to the growth of the film and television industry in KSA and MENA, as well create new jobs and sharpen the skills of local Saudi and Middle-Eastern talent in various content industries.

This launch is part of the Group’s five-year growth plan to provide first-rate content tailored to Saudi, Middle Eastern audiences around the world, a vision spearheaded by MBC Group Chairman Waleed Al-Ibrahim.

MBC Group CEO, Sam Barnett commented: “Content is the fuel that drives the success of both MBC television and Shahid.net, our VOD platform. Building on the Group’s successes in Drama, we are now expanding our ambition and widening our horizons yet further. I am delighted to welcome Peter Smith to MBC Group.”

On his part, Peter Smith stated: “I am delighted to join MBC Group and lead its new subsidiary, MBC Studios. I look forward to working under Mr. Barnett’s leadership and closely with some of the brightest colleagues in the industry. “The future is certainly positive for MBC Studios especially in terms of leveraging the significant trend for non-English language television content to travel to more global markets.”

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