Fox channels to set up regional office in Qatar: Rohit D Silva
DOHA FOX International Channels (FIC) Middle East is likely to set up a regional office in Qatar towards the end of the year, the Middle East General Manager Rohit D Silva said on Tuesday.
He said that Fox may also launch a three dimension (3D) channel as some of the contents on many of its channels are shown in 3D.
Silva said the organisation was exploring the possibility of collaborating with major players in Qatar and the region.
He said, “We are aiming for collaboration with Al Jazeera especially with Al Jazeera Sports. Al Jazeera is a major organisation regionally and internationally and a tie up will benefit both of us. We are a global leader like Al Jazeera.” He said that when the procedures are complete, there will be a regional set up in Qatar which might materialise in the next six to eight months.
According to Silva, last year recorded the highest increase in the number of subscribers to Fox’s channels in Qatar.
“We had a 25 percent growth in Qatar last year and 70 percent growth in Saudi Arabia.
Our Arabic dubbed serials are hit in the Arab region and are well received all over the region. This has resulted in great growth in subscription.
Similarly, our National Geographic Channel dubbed in Arabic is also a great hit in the region.” He said that Fox News has 2.07 percent viewership in the region while Fox Channel has 1.05 percent.
According to Silva, Qatar is an important destination for Fox as it is slowly emerging as a strong centre in the Middle East.
“We have a relatively significant presence in Qatar through the Qatar Cable Vision operated by Qtel. At present eight of the 14 channels available in the Middle East are shown in Qatar. We are planning to expand further through collaboration with major local and international players in Qatar and the region,” he said.
He added that High Definition (HD) channels were the way forward and that Fox was turning into more and more HD channels.
Silva said that the channel has close association with some of Qatar’s prestigious establishments such as Qatar Foundation and Qatar Airways.
“Last year, we had featured Qatar Foundation on our National Geographic Channel.
Similarly Qatar Airways makes use of our content on its flights,” he said.
He revealed that Fox Channel has the exclusive rights for the live presentation of the Academy Awards in February.
Fox Channels have been in the Middle East for the last four years with 14 channels catering sports, movies, Hollywood entertainment and documentaries.
FIC has over 350 TV channels all over the world which are both free to air and pay channels.
There are four free to air channels by FIC in the region — mostly entertainment.