WBITD extends deal with MBC

Series including 'Mentalist' will debut on free TV

Series including "The Mentalist" and "Fringe" will premiere on free TV in the Middle East for the first time under Warner Bros. International Television Distribution's newly expanded output deal with local sat broadcaster MBC Group.

The multiyear extension of the companies' programming pact will give MBC first-run access to WBITD-distributed series from the 2008-11 TV seasons and allow MBC to debut the series concurrent with their U.S. broadcasts, another first.

"This is our biggest deal to date with Warner Bros.," MBC group TV director Tim Riordan said Thursday. "MBC realizes the importance of airing shows in this region concurrently with the U.S., in order to meet the growing demands of the Arab audience."

The first three WBITD series to premiere on MBC under the new pact, "Mentalist," "Fringe" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," will launch next week on MBC Action.
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