Comedy Central Studios Arabia ready to roll

MTV Nets Int'l teams with Abu Dhabi-based twofour54

LONDON -- MTV Networks International has teamed with division Abu Dhabi-based twofour54 to launch Comedy Central Studios Arabia, which will develop and produce local Arabic-language comedy content for the Middle East, the companies said Tuesday.

Headquartered in twofour54's offices in Abu Dhabi, Comedy Central Studios Arabia will focus on innovative, original content including stand-up, sketch shows and sitcoms, aimed primarily at the 18- to 49-year-old Arabic audience. The new venture will also draw upon Comedy Central's library of international formats to produce localized versions for the Arabic market.

Twofour54 CEO Tony Orsten said the project would unlock "untapped creative potential in the region" for the first time.

"From individual stand-up talent right through to major comic productions, Comedy Central Studios Arabia will provide an opportunity for Arabic comics and comedy programming talent that simply never existed before," he added.

MTVNI's executive vp emerging markets Bhavneet Singh said the broadcaster had identified "a significant appetite" for local comedy content in the Middle East.

"Working together with twofour54, we aim to make Abu Dhabi the home of Arabic comedy production," he added.