FME Sets Up Shop in Dubai

September 30, 2011

LONDON: FremantleMedia Enterprises has opened its first office in the Middle East, setting up a base in Dubai to be led by Anahita Kheder.

As VP for the Middle East, Kheder will report to Mark Newton, the executive VP of licensing for EMEA, and work closely with Jamie Lynn, the senior VP of distribution for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa. The aim is to offer consolidated content packages to broadcasters in the region, with a focus on formats, kids and family entertainment and non-TV properties.

FME’s Mideast business currently includes a pact, brokered by Lynn, for MBC to launch a version of Idols later this year. Kheder, who comes from a branded entertainment and entertainment marketing background, is currently working closely with the pan-Arab broadcaster and its commercial arm, AMS (Arabian Media Services), to secure brand sponsors for the series. Cross-media sponsorship deals have already been signed with General Motors, L’Oreal, Pepsi and Mars. MBC also signed on for Got Talent, which premiered on MBC4 in January. The broadcaster also signed a three-year volume deal on FME’s tape catalogue.

“This new office will enable us to deliver so much more for our broadcaster clients in the Middle East,” said FME’s EMEA CEO, Mel Alcock. “As a great example, Anahita has already developed a close relationship with MBC and AMS, allowing FME to forge a real partnership around Arab Idol and help deliver sponsorship packages that work for brands commercially across a variety of platforms.”

David Ellender, FME’s Global CEO, added, “The Middle East is currently one of the fastest growing markets globally and we’re looking forward to building on our existing relationships there. This new office, our 12th worldwide, will allow us to manage our formats even more effectively and maximize commercial opportunities across even more platforms.”