Byron Allen’s networks to launch in the Middle East
Entertainment Studios will expand to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and more
Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group division Entertainment Studios, the parent company of theGrio, will be launching seven of its networks into the Middle East, it was announced Monday.
SAWA Rights Management brokered the deal and it is part of an arrangement that will see Allen Media Group expand to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco, Deadline reported.
“The international demand for American content is a multi-billion dollar marketplace,” said Tom Devlin, president of international television sales/marketing at Entertainment Studios. “We are excited to bring our portfolio of family-friendly lifestyle networks and programming to the Middle East and North Africa television markets for the first time as we continue to expand our network brands worldwide.”
The landmark deal is another testament to the media mogul’s power moves. He recently purchased 15 local TV stations and bought and distributed films such as 47 Meters Down and Hostiles. Earlier this month, he told The Hollywood Reporter about his plans for complete domination.
“For me, it’s important to own something — especially in America, as an African American,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I can’t own enough. It’s not possible. I haven’t even begun.”
Allen also shared his ambition to own CNN. There was no doubt in his mind that he would accomplish this feat.
“I’m close to the same age when Rupert Murdoch came here to America,” he says. “He was in his 50s. I’m 59. What you see today will be 10,000 times bigger.”
Allen continued, “I’d love to own CNN. But I have to buy AT&T to do that. And I will. Believe me, I think about it every day.”
Those who know Allen told the outlet that the mogul’s determination would allow him to be a fixture in helping to shape the world.
“You can’t succeed as a businessman without being tough. You’ve got to have bare knuckles, and he’s a fighter. That’s why he wins. But there’s this other side to him that is someone who has a very big heart and is generous,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of Quibi, said.
“He’s had a phenomenal impact as a businessman, but I’m almost more impressed by his philanthropy. He sets a high bar.”
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