Why Ramadan Is The Month of TV Drama Production?

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Arabs, upgrade but navigate!

RAMADAN DRAMA SERIES. (From left to right) Syrian Series, Egyptian Series, Kuwaiti Series.

TV broadcasting during Ramadan is changing particularly in the Middle East. While there are uncertainties as the industry moves forward, clear trends are emerging:

1. Large TV channels are providing their audience with high- quality drama series to differentiate their offerings and stay relevant in the market during the holy month of Ramadan.
2. Major broadcasters have been responding to rising Arabic TV series prices and the need for quality productions by commissioning their own TV series or entering into joint productions with producers and/ or other TV channels.
3. The increasing involvement of TV broadcasters in series production, even if primarily as financiers, is likely to improve overall production quality. Not only are TV broadcasters able to vigorously market the new programming, but also being in a better position to understand the needs and preferences of viewers, broadcasters can tailor productions toward more contemporary topics of interest to their audience.
4. Large TV groups with generalist channels, such as MBC, are launching thematic channels in order to maintain viewership across multiple segments. These channels tend to be clearly identified and positioned, with the identity made obvious to viewers in both content and promotion.

➢ Advertising Revenue During Ramadan

1. TV series are among the most popular types of programming during Ramadan especially in the Middle East followed by variety/entertainment shows, films, and news. As such, TV series, especially dramatic TV series in Arabic, are becoming dynamic sources of advertising revenues.
2. Regional TV stations spend the whole year preparing for Ramadan month, as it has become the single most important time of the year for them. The leading broadcasters typically earn about 30% of their annual advertising income during the Holy Month.
3. Exclusive rights to air a TV series during Ramadan cover approximately three quarters of production costs, with Dubai TV, MBC, LBC, Al-Rai, Abu Dhabi, and Melody Drama TV competing to be the first in line.
4. Statistics from the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) show that Ramadan is the advertising high season in Egypt, with $146 million spent during the holy month last year, a remarkable 62% increase over any other time of the year.

➢ Facts About Drama Production in Ramadan

1. The master of the game is Egypt in terms of TV drama production and TV broadcast services, followed by Syria, GCC countries and then the rest of the Arab world.
2. The number of Syrian soap operas available in Ramadan since 2006 has fallen because of a reduction in the availability of funding from other countries in the region, a consequence of the country’s forced isolation following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, which Syria was widely blamed for, though has always dined.
3. Since the mid-1990s, Syria has been at the forefront of television drama productions, eclipsing Egypt’s traditional cultural hegemony.
4. Limited supply and strong demand for high-quality Arabic TV series, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, when viewership is high, is resulting in large increase in prices, especially for first-run exclusive.

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