Advanced Television

Confusion over Egypt and MBC agreement

May 16, 2014

By Chris Forrester

An “agreement” signed between Egypt’s Radio & Television Union and Saudi Arabian satellite broadcaster MBC has been “cancelled” according to local reports in Egypt. However, Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib, is firmly denying that the Memorandum of Understanding has been scrubbed.

The Memorandum of Understanding referred to was a signed protocol between ERTU and MBC, and signed in front of local press and broadcast media, and was intended to formalise joint media cooperation between the two entities.  Dubai-based MBC stated on its official website that the agreement was signed in the presence of Egyptian Media Minister Doreya Sharaf Al-Din and ERTU Chairman Essam Al-Amir.  The agreement was to include several media aspects such as cooperation in the production of shows, television series and films, MBC said.

However, in an interview with private satellite channel Mehwar the Prime Minister said: “I realised that the memorandum is not legally binding,” adding that the MoU will be presented to the cabinet to “study” it, describing the process as “normal”. “Any decision taken regarding the memorandum will be “in the nation’s best interest,” he said.

MBC’s Egyptian-targeted satellite channel (‘Misr’) has frequently been jammed, and the recent political unrest in Egypt has frequently resulted in deliberate interference of broadcast channels.

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