MIPCOM: Qatari Giant beIN Launches First Turkish Drama With 'The Choice' (Exclusive)

The Choice - P - 2019

The Miramax owners plan to launch more original series over the next 12 months.

Qatari broadcasting giant and Miramax owner beIN is getting into the hugely popular Turkish drama game. 

Announced at MIPCOM, the Doha-based company's Turkish pay-TV operator Digiturk has commissioned and produced The Choice, a new series that will be streamed on its own beIN connect OTT platform. 

The Choice marks the first original series to be released on Digiturk since beIN acquired the broadcaster in 2016. beIN says it plans to launch a number of original series over the next 12 months. 

The 13-episode series, produced by Ay Yapim, is directed by Uluç Bayraktar and explores the life of Irfan (played by Halit Ergenç), an idealist professor of economics who is upset by his unfair dismissal and is trying to care for his 7-year-old sick son. As the doors close one by one, Irfan finds himself in the middle of a dark adventure that he can’t escape while his wife, Eda (played by Nur Fettahoglu), desperately turns to help from his childhood friends, such as Egemen (played by Ozan Güven). Irfan and Eda meet many friends (and foes) along their tortuous journey.

“Our ambition is to become one of the leading entertainment groups in the world and the production of The Choice, the first Turkish original series commissioned by beIN, is testament to that as we can create outstanding pieces of original content," said Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO of Digiturk and the beIN Media Group.

"Thanks to our exclusive partnerships with a range of Hollywood entertainment houses, and our very own Miramax studios, beIN holds an extensive library of blockbusters while having a growing presence in series and movies production and distribution. It’s a hugely exciting time for everyone in our entertainment business and for all our consumers around the world, with more original content to be produced in the next 12 months."

Turkish TV dramas have become unlikely barometers of the Middle East's somewhat volatile political landscape. Last year, pan-Arab satellite giant MBC — now controlled by the Saudi Arabian government — pulled all Arabic-dubbed Turkish soaps off its airwaves, believed to be in retaliation for the country's backing of Saudi's regional rivals Qatar. 

Qatari government-financed beIN, meanwhile, has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind a major piracy operation called beoutQ, which has been showing sporting broadcasts stolen from its network. In Turkish drama, beIN may have found the one area of content that beoutQ isn't likely to steal.