LONDON – Cable networks firm Discovery Communications on Tuesday said it has agreed to acquire Dubai-based Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliates in Dubai and Egypt, including flagship TV network Fatafeat.
The channel is the top food network in the Middle East. Financial details weren’t disclosed.
Takhayal CEO Youssef El-Deeb and Mark Hollinger, CEO of Discovery Networks International, made the deal announcement.
“The transaction is a targeted step by Discovery to further extend its reach in the growing Middle East and North Africa television market and to further complement and strengthen its existing portfolio of female-targeted lifestyle pay TV brands, including TLC and Real Time, which are now available in more than 150 countries outside the U.S.,” the company said.
The acquisition will also give Discovery access to the firm’s library of cooking recipes and shows, as well as the company’s production facility. The library contains 700 hours of programs, with the company adding 150-200 hours each year.
“Discovery’s guiding principle has always been to customize our strategy on a region-by-region and market-by-market basis to build the strongest global non-fiction media company bar none,” said Hollinger. “The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proven popular with our viewers around the globe, including on Real Time in Italy and the U.K. and on TLC in Poland, Latin America and India.”
“We have had great success with our TV brand Fatafeat, which has become one of the leading TV channels in the Middle East since it launched five years ago and our slogan ‘Al Hayat Helwa’ (Life is Wonderful), which has been the driving force across our business,” said El-Deeb. “The core expertise of our team is its great creativity and dedication, and this combination has enabled us to achieve very clear brand positioning and stand out amongst the hundreds of Arab TV channels as the leading the lifestyle brand across the Middle East.”
Fatafeat reaches approximately 55 million TV households in the Middle East and North Africa.
Its lineup of shows includes Teslam El Ayadi, a family cooking show, Matbakhna El Arabi (Our Arabian Cuisine) hosted by award-winning chef Mohammad Orfali and Wala Bil Ahlam (Dream Desserts) from Egyptian award winning chef Nermine Hanno.