Eurovision goes global:First stop Africa and Middle East

by Victor Hondal 78 views

Nibras Media Ltd., a company well connected in the Northern Africa – Middle East region, has purchased the Eurovision Song Contest format from the European Broadcasting Union. This means that a sister contest will appear in the near future in this part of the world, as several broadcasters based in this area have already expressed their interest.

The countries that would be likely to join this new musical experience are the ones located in the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) region, extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Several TV broadcasters from these nations have already showed their interest in participating in this brand new musical contest, and have offer themselves to be the host TV station for its first ever edition. It will be developed by the company Nibras Media Ltd., which has bought the ESC format for this part of the world, in partnership with Tanweer Group. More than one third of the market share in the Arab speaking MENA region is in the hands of Nibras-Tanweer. In addition, the company enjoys one of the best and most widespread media facilities in this area: it has studios located in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Cairo (Egypt), Amman (Jordan), Beirut (Lebanon), Damascus (Syria) and India.

Excitement has even reached Europe, the birthplace and homeland of the Eurovision Song Contest. Bettina Brinkmann, head of Formats and Special Events at Eurovision TV stated that "The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the oldest, and by far the best established, entertainment formats in the world. The recipe of the ESC is excellent and can travel worldwide. So it is not surprising that other versions of the ESC will emerge. We are excited to see the new version very soon, and are delighted that ESC will celebrate different cultures worldwide".

Back in April, Bjørn Erichsen, director, already expressed that the expansion of ESC is an exciting project. "Imagine an American, Asian, Middle-East or African version of the song contest", Erischen said. About the possibility of a World Song Contest, director stated that "In the most optimistic mood, in two years, being more realistic, in three to four years".

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