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Nick launching in the Middle East

Nickelodeon is launching in the Middle East tomorrow and the kids channel operator now wants to launch its sister channels Nick Jr. and NickToons in the region, MTV International Networks Emerging Markets’ EVP and managing director Bhavneet Singh told TBIvision.

Singh is talking to MTV’s Middle East joint venture partners about what to launch next and wants to get the other Nick channels into the region given the huge numbers of kids and lack of competition from other international kids channels.

"We will be the first global kids brand here [free-to-air]," Singh said. "The opportunity in the region is staggering. There are an enormous number of kids under ten-years-old."

Nick has invested in local programming for the Arabia channel. Alongside well-known Nick shows including SpongBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. The first local show will be Shoof Kids, a comedy series with user-generated elements. The second is a Friday afternoon block called Jumetna. There will also be three local presenters fronting the network, one each from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Like MTV Arabia, which launched last November, Nick will be carried free-to-air on Arabsat and Nilesat and reach Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Palestine and Syria.