MGM & MBC in Multiyear Content Pact


MGM International Television Productions and MBC Group have entered into a multiyear deal to develop and co-produce original international series.

MBC Group will air these series exclusively throughout the Middle East & Northern Africa on MBC’s Shahid VIP streaming service, with MGM handling co-production and distribution for the rest of the world. The new partnership strengthens MBC and MGM’s well-established relationship, following the soon-to-be-released international series Last Light and Billy the Kid, for which MBC Group is MGM’s regional partner.

Their collaboration Last Light, a dystopian miniseries starring Matthew Fox (Lost) and Joanne Froggatt (Liar, Downton Abbey) wrapped production in January in Abu Dhabi. Billy the Kid, a romantic drama series from Michael Hirst (Vikings), was directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) and is set to premiere in the U.S. on April 24.

“We are thrilled to partner with MBC Group and Sheikh Waleed, who are leaders in their market,” said Mark Burnett, MGM Worldwide Television’s chairman. “With MGM International TV Productions’ content and talent partnerships in France, Australia, the Nordics, Latin America and now the Middle East and Northern Africa via MBC Group, MGM Television is perfectly positioned to continue building our international expansion of signature premium content together with Rola and the incredible team we have assembled.”

Sheikh Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, MBC Group’s chairman, said, “We are delighted to partner with MGM. MBC Group is uniquely positioned to tell stories that will combine regional focus with global interest. And with this new partnership, we take a major step forward in diversifying the group and building on its current strengths.”

Rola Bauer, president of MGM International TV Productions, said, “For centuries, audiences all over the world have been fascinated by the art and creativity of the Arabian culture—long before Scheherazade’s tales of One Thousand and One Nights hit the screens globally. This partnership with our friends at MBC is to develop the best stories and connect storytellers from East and West. We will jointly create original series that are crossing borders, breaking boundaries and will kickstart conversations, all around the globe.”

“MBC Group’s first big co-production deal with a major studio marks our entrance to the global scene,” added Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO. “We have 30 years of experience telling stories that touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa. Now with a great and global partner like MGM, we’re extending our reach beyond this region. We’re looking forward to announcing a series of new projects with the fantastic MGM team very soon.”