Warner Bros. Discovery Ups Rebecca Rørmark to New Head of Streaming Marketing Position

Rebecca Rørmark

Warner Bros. Discovery has promoted longtime marketing executive Rebecca Rørmark to the newly created position Head of Streaming Marketing for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Based in Oslo, Norway, Rørmark reports to Patrizio Spagnoletto, global chief marketing officer for direct-to-consumer.

Rørmark is tasked with marketing the upcoming merger and launch of the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming platforms. The combined SVOD platform is slated to launch in the U.S. and South America this year, followed by Europe in 2024.

Rørmark joined Discovery Networks Norway in 2013, becoming VP of marketing and PR following the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery in 2021.

Netflix to Release First Kuwaiti Series on Sept. 23

Netflix is expanding its original content production in the Middle East with the pending first-ever Kuwaiti dramedy series, “The Cage,” beginning Sept. 23.

The lighthearted dramedy, which features a Kuwaiti cast, including Khaled Ameen, Hussain AlMahdi, Rawan Mahdi, Lamya Tareq and Hessah Al-Nabhan, marks Netflix’s attempt to showcase more stories from the Arab world to global audiences.

“The Cage” is just the beginning for Netflix in Kuwait, with another high-profile project in the works that promises to deliver a fresh perspective from that part of the world.

In the show, Ameen plays a social counselor who is working with a married couple, played by AlMahdi and Mahdi, to address their differences and better understand each other’s perspective to save their marriage. While the counselor is helping them reconnect, he’s facing his struggles in his personal life, too. 

Following the couple and the evolution of their relationship across 10 years, the eight-episode series offers a fresh take on tackling marital challenges in the Arab world, in a lighthearted and relatable way.

The show is produced by Abdullah Boushahri and directed by Jasem Almuhanna.

Netflix ended the most-recent fiscal period with 72.97 million subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That was up 4.27 million subs from the previous-year period, but down 770,000 subs from the first quarter, ended March 31.

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Disney+ Streaming Service Launches Operations in 16 Middle East, North African Countries

Disney+ on June 9 officially launched subscription streaming video operations in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Walt Disney Co.-owned SVOD service — which ended the most recent fiscal period with 137.7 million subscribers, including more than 50 million in India — launched service in the United States in November 2019.

Subscribers will be able to access up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on as many as 10 devices, and the ability to set up seven different profiles. Parents also will be able to set children profiles so that they can only access age-appropriate content.

Disney+ will expand into select Eastern European countries on June 14.

The pricing structure for Disney+ in the Middle East and Africa:

Market Currency MONTHLY ANNUAL
Algeria DZD 399.99 3998.99
Bahrain USD 8.99 88.99
Egypt EGP 49.99 498.99
Iraq IQD 4999.99 49998.99
Jordan JOD 2.99 28.99
Kuwait USD 8.99 88.99
Lebanon USD 4.49 43.99
Libya USD 2.99 28.99
Morocco MAD 33.99 328.99
Oman USD 8.99 88.99
Palestine USD 6.99 68.99
Qatar QAR 29.99 298.99
Saudi Arabia SAR 29.99 298.99
Tunisia USD 3.49 33.99
UAE AED 29.99 298.99
Yemen USD 2.99 28.99


Starzplay Available Through Apple TV in Middle East, North Africa

Starzplay, Starz’s video-on-demand streaming service, is now available to customers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through Apple TV channels on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, and select Samsung and LG smart TVs.

The service offers Hollywood and Arabic movies, TV shows, documentaries, kids’ entertainment and original content. Customers in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt can sign up for a seven-day free trial and subscribe directly to Starzplay on the Apple TV app for $11 per month (prices vary by region).

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“Online streaming in the region is growing faster than ever,” Danny Bates, CCO and co-founder at Starzplay, said in a statement. “As the region’s leading video streaming service, we constantly look for innovative avenues to offer quality content to hungry audiences. Offering Starzplay through Apple TV channels will open up a whole new customer base and further drive the growth of the video streaming market in MENA. We are proud to be the first major content partner for Apple TV channels in the MENA region and look forward to unveiling more compelling content on the platform.”

Subscribers through Apple TV channels can watch online on demand or watch offline downloads of on the Apple TV app. With Family Sharing, up to six friends or family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using just their Apple ID and password.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment’s Fight Network Inks Wider Distribution in Middle East

Anthem Sports & Entertainment’s Fight Network combat sports streaming channel has signed an expanded distribution agreement with SAWA Rights Management for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

Anthem, which recently acquired AXS TV and HDNet Movies from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, will now deliver Impact Wrestling, KSW and Fight Nights Global, Combate Americas and World Lethwei Championship across the MENA market. Fight Network previously had distribution on DU, an over-the-top video platform in Dubai UAE.

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“Combat sports have enjoyed a significant increase in popularity with viewers around the world, cementing the medium as a true global phenomenon,” Ariel Shnerer, GM of Fight Network, said in a statement.

Fight Network features more than 300 hours of live fights from promoters across the globe. The channel also offers original programming, documentary features and unscripted series. Fight shows include “Retrospective,” “Diary,” “In 60” and “After The Fight,” as well as a roster of classic fights and compilations, and events such as “Boxing World Weekly,” “Total Combat” and “Impact Wrestling,” a professional wrestling competitor to WWE.

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Discovery, StarzPlay Partner for SVOD Distribution

Discovery and StarzPlay March 16 announced a partnership that will see the former’s Dplay streaming video service available across the Middle East and Asia (MENA) on StarzPlay, Starz’s international SVOD based in Dubai with more than 1 million subscribers.

The agreement affords StarzPlay subs access to thousands of hours of content, segregated into playlists dedicated to specially curated interest verticals — including crime, lifestyle, food, wildlife and more. New content will be added to the platform each month.

Discovery TV franchises include “Shark Week,” “MythBusters,” “Gold Rush,” “Expedition Unknown,” “House Hunters International” and “Say Yes to the Dress,” among others.

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“This is the first time Discovery is taking its content beyond the pay-TV universe in the region and opening it up to a whole new customer base,” Amanda Turnbull, GM, Discovery Middle East & Africa, said in a statement. “As we commence our pivot toward digital, this milestone sets the benchmark for Discovery’s continued growth in the digital space.”

Following a free trial period of up to one-month (varies across the region), monthly subscription to the content costs AED/SAR15 ($4) per month as an add-on package.

“With this partnership we are starting a new chapter in company’s growth to become the one-stop shop for premium content,” said Danny Bates, chief commercial officer of StarzPlay.”

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Dplay will be available in Q2 2020, through existing StarzPlay apps, including Apple TV. StarzPlay is available to download online and via respective iOS and Android app stores.


WarnerMedia Eyes Global Footprint; Names Giorgio Stock President of Europe, Middle East Operations

WarnerMedia Aug. 2 announced the appointment of Giorgio Stock to the new role of President, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution and Advertising Sales, EMEA and APAC.

With immediate effect, Stock, previously President, EMEA, for Turner, takes on responsibility for all entertainment networks, distribution of all networks, advertising sales and the kids networks operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.

Stock will continue to be based in London and reports into Chief Revenue Officer Gerhard Zeiler.

Giorgio Stock

In his new role, Stock will be supported by the leadership team of Ricky Ow, President Turner Asia Pacific, Hervé Payan, CEO HBO Europe, and Jonathan Spink, CEO HBO Asia, all of whom now report into him.

“In his previous role as President, Turner EMEA, Giorgio transformed the organization and built a strong team who together invested in excellent premium content, created new revenue streams and optimized business operations,” Zeiller said.

The appointment represents WarnerMedia’s decision to give Europe and Middle Eastern operations singular leadership through the existing strengths of the Turner and HBO businesses, while also equipping them for further collaboration and growth.

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In addition to Stock, the international executives reporting to Zeiler are Whit Richardson, President Turner Latin America, and Rani Raad, President CNNI Commercial.

Stock joined the company in 2013 as President Turner EMEA with executive oversight of all Turner kids and entertainment networks in the region, including digital and media services of core brands such as Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TNT and TCM as well as kids streaming service Toonix, available direct-to-consumer and via a partnership with HBO Nordic, the network’s over-the-top video service .

His role also included the distribution of CNN’s services, and licensing and merchandising activity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as international L&M liaison.

Stock joined Turner after a 15-year career with Disney where he held publishing and content leadership roles out of Paris, New York, Milan and London overseeing television, publishing, retail, music and gaming.