By Ahmed al-Masri
Saudi Arabia's Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on Monday announced that its affiliated television channels had stopped broadcasting Turkish TV serials, which generally enjoy high viewership ratings in the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya news website quoted MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek as saying the decision had been taken “to remove Turkish dramas from MBC's affiliated channels in the Middle East and North Africa… until further notice”.
According to Hayek, the move is aimed at “stimulating production of more high-quality Arab and Gulf TV serials”.
The decision is expected to end the broadcast of six popular Turkish serials that had been aired on the broadcaster’s MBC1, MBC4 and MBC Drama channels.
Lebanese daily Al-Nahar quoted experts as saying the move could cost MBC as much as $50 million in advertising revenue.