Teshkeel Media Group’s animated series “THE 99,” created by Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, will make its Middle East debut this Ramadan, airing exclusively on MBC3 and making its exclusive digital premiere on Yahoo! Maktoob.
Teshkeel Media Group first launched THE 99 in 2006 in a traditional comic book series when Mutawa saw a need for new role models that children from around the world could relate to. THE 99 are the world’s first superheroes based on Islamic culture and society, and make up a team of superheroes born of Middle East history and Islamic archetypes that possess values shared by the entire world. The superheroes are from ninety-nine countries and from both genders.
Mutawa, creator of “THE 99”, said: “Today, MBC Group is the largest broadcaster in the Arab world and Yahoo! Maktoob is the largest Arab online portal. Each is a great success story of Middle East media. The fact that MBC and Yahoo! have chosen to work together to raise THE 99 to their own lofty heights speaks volumes, as does our gratitude for their confidence.”
Ashraf Younis, MBC3 Channel Manager, said: “We are delighted to air THE 99 exclusively on MBC3 this upcoming Ramadan, as it addresses our viewers in an edutaining and cultural manner, in line with our scheduling for this season.” Younis further commented: “We hope that our audience will engage with those superheroes.”
Ahmed Nassef, Vice President and Managing Director, Yahoo! Maktoob, said: “Fans have been waiting for THE 99 to come to life in an animated series, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive online partner for its debut in the region.” He added: “THE 99 can be viewed on Yahoo! Maktoob Screen, our revamped video destination, which is home to a wide variety of high quality video content including the region’s finest Arabic movies, plays, and TV series as well as our own original productions.”
In 2011, THE 99 team partnered with DC Comics’ Justice League of America in a collaboration which was publically praised by Barack Obama, the president of the United States during a summit on entrepreneurship.
MBC3, a part of MBC Group, is the children’s entertainment channel. It delivers a programming mix of children’s education and entertainment that connects with and stimulates the imagination of Arab kids aged between three and thirteen as well as creating the quality viewing time with their parents.
MBC Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World which was launched in London in 1991 and later moved to its headquarters in Dubai in 2002.
Over the past 20 years, MBC Group has grown to become a well-established media group. MBC Group includes 11 television channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment), MBC2 and MBC MAX (24-hour movies), MBC3 (children’s entertainment), MBC4 (entertainment for new Arab women), MBC Action (an indigenous Channel with local and homegrown productions), MBC Persia (24-hour movie channel dubbed in Farsi), Al Arabiya (the 24-hour Arabic language news channel); Al Arabiya Al Hadath (an extension of Al Arabiya News Channel), Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel) and MBC DRAMA offers 24/7 Arabic Drama.
The Group also includes two radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music), and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music); as well as O3 productions, a specialized documentary production unit.
It has also several online platforms: www.mbc.net, www.alarabiya.net, and www.shahid.net, the first free VOD and catch up portal in the Arab world.