MTV Networks: The Arabian Challenge

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR294
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : MTV Networks
Industry : Media & Entertainment
Countries : Middle East

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MTV Networks: The Arabian Challenge has been published in Strategic Management Formulation, Implementation, & Control, 12e by Pearce & Robinson, McGraw-Hill / Irwin
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"[...] MTV has a penchant for airing controversial material and making a mockery of convention. And of course, it's an American brand... The challenge, therefore, is transforming a notoriously risqué channel into a Middle Eastern-friendly platform for music and creativity without stripping MTV of its edge. It isn't without some irony that a channel known for angering religious, political, and conservative communities is operating in and catering to a region renowned for reacting (and sometimes overreacting) negatively to controversial content."1

- Dana El Baltaji, Special Projects Manager, Trends magazine in Dubai, in 2008.

"In many ways (MTV Arabia) is the epitome of our localization strategy. It's a different audience (in the Middle East) but this is what we do -- we reflect culture and we respect culture. The programming mix on this one is going to be a little more local than normal."2

-William H. Roedy, Vice Chairman for MTV Networks and President MTVI Network International, in 2007.

A Litmus Test for MTV's Localization Strategy

MTV Networks (MTVN) launched MTV Arabia (Refer to Exhibit I for MTV Arabia Logo) on November 17, 2007, in partnership with Arabian Television Network3 (ATN) as part of its global expansion strategy.

According to analysts, MTV's presence in the Middle East would provide the region with an international music brand, which till then, did not have an international music brand though it had clusters of local music channels.

On its part, the region promised to offer tremendous growth opportunities to MTVN.

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MTV Networks: The Arabian Challenge - Next Page>>

1] Dana El Baltaji, "I Want My MTV,", May 11, 2008.
2] Lynne Roberts, "MTV Set for Middle East Launch,", October 17, 2007.
3] Arabian Television Network (ATN) is a Dubai, United Arab Emirates based broadcast media company, part of the Arab Media Group's Arabian Broadcasting Network (ABN). ABN is a part of the Arab Media Group (AMG). As of 2007, AMG was the largest media group in the UAE, with approximately 1,500 employees. It was an unit of TECOM Investments that was controlled by Dubai's ruler.

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