LONDON: The Middle East’s leading media company MBC Group announced on Wednesday a new partnership with Vice Media aimed at bringing cultural and lifestyle content to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region.
The deal, which was initially reported last year, will see the next-generation media and entertainment platform creating Arabic content exclusively for MBC Group.
Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said: “Given Vice’s reputation for content and storytelling, we couldn’t ask for a better partnership with which to kick off 2023.
“We have no doubt that Vice will help deliver diverse content that will complement our current offerings on MBC.”
Alongside covering topics such as food, music, fashion, the visual arts and video games, Vice said it will provide mentorship and training opportunities for young talents aspiring to work in the media industry.
Vice has had a presence in the Middle East since 2017, when it established a regional office in Dubai, and it recently announced the opening of its new headquarters and creative agency in Riyadh, from which it is expected to produce the content and further expand its presence in the region.
Nancy Dubuc, CEO of Vice, said: “MBC Group is the leading media platform in the region, and we are happy to help extend its reach while highlighting the vibrant, emerging youth culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — where more than half the population is under the age of 35 — and across the Arabic-speaking world.”
The announcement of the deal comes amid news that Vice is restarting its ongoing sale process, which began last year.
According to sources, the company is now “likely to fetch a price of below $1 billion,” having been valued at $5.7 billion in 2017.