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Qatar plans rival TV channel to MBC

Qatar, best known for its Al Jazeera news, sports and kids channels, is planning to launch a new general entertainment Arabic channel to rival the top-rated Middle-east Broadcasting Centre (MBC), reports.

Local reports say the all-entertainment channel is looking to tempt existing on-air talent and producers to Doha with US$200 million that its ready to invest.

Doha-based but Saudi-Arabian backed MBC carries many ‘western’ format shows, such as ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ and the recent ratings success ‘The Voice’.

The new Qatari channel, will reportedly rival MBC in having a flagship news programme, but would present itself to viewers as being more youthful with younger on-air talent. The channel would also draw on production facilities in Beirut, Cairo and Dubai, each of which has the ability to mount large entertainment-based productions.