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Content exchanges, global premieres, cutting-edge conferences, monetisation meetings and innovative equipment at CABSAT 2016

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His Highness Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Opening CABSAT 2016

CABSAT 2016 has proven its credentials as the definitive event for broadcast, satellite and entertainment content sectors across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) with a series of lucrative content exchanges, exclusive programme premieres, cutting-edge conference discussions and innovative technology and equipment displays during its opening two days at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

On the business front, more than 950 brands from over 60 countries have enhanced the show’s standing as a fertile ground for business development and strategic partnerships, with major players from across the MEASA media industry meeting international counterparts at the event’s Global Meetings Lounge and the Red Carpet Meetings Lounge.

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With brisk business and technology displays galore on the show-floor, CABSAT 2016 has aired exclusive new content at the Screening Theatre presented with Selevision. The purpose-built theatre has aired a dozen exclusive filmed entertainment programmes including the pilot episode of Billions – a new contemporary drama series produced by SHOWTIME and starring Emmy-winning actors Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.

“The Screening Theatre aligns perfectly with our vision to make CABSAT an all-encompassing reference and trade point for the global media industry,” said Andrew Pert, the CABAT show director. “Our goal is to provide a platform where international professionals can come to view exclusive premieres, strike strategic content partnerships, experience the latest broadcast and production equipment and discover market-leading insights from some of the global industry’s pioneering visionaries at tailored conferences.”

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A major new addition to this year’s show, the CABSAT Content Marketplace presented by Selevision has been well received by hundreds of major content and production industry professionals. A dedicated platform for TV and film content creators, production houses and studios, distributors of content, producers, editors and advertising houses to buy, sell and explore co-production opportunities for the Arabic market, the segmented show feature has hosted senior officials from Walt Disney, IMAX and Starz Play among more than 500 local, regional and international content buyers.

On the conference side, the closing day of the Content Congress – a holistic, state-of-the-industry dissection presented by CABSAT, NAB Show and the former’s new Content Marketplace offering – featured a keynote address by Glenn Gainor, President of Physical Production for Sony Pictures.

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“CABSAT is a strategic convention bringing together technicians, filmmakers and story makers to discuss the importance of technology in our global industry. The show yields phenomenal benefit to the regional industry, as well as the international studios and physical production teams using it as a destination for our films.

“The UAE can be the next major production destination for filmmakers and producers because the country has so many opportunities for crews and scenic locations. With CABSAT serving as a monumental game changer for the region, it shows that the UAE is serious in attracting filmmakers and show runners in the country,” said Gainor.

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A host of influential regional voices also addressed the Content Congress including Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman Dubai Film & TV Commission and Managing Director, Dubai Studio City, and David Butorac, CEO of OSN, who spoke only hours after OSN and the UAE’s Arabian Radio Network (ARN) announced a partnership which means the Pay TV network’s subscribers can now access all nine ARN stations live and free of charge on their televisions.

Other Content Congress speakers included C-Level executives from Netflix, Fox International, NBC Universal, Australia’s FremantleMedia, ITV studios, Talpa, Dailymotion, Qatar’s beIN network, the European Broadcasting Union and a host of other major Hollywood and Bollywood studios.

Elsewhere, the two-day GVF Satellite Hub started on Wednesday with senior satellite industry executives discussing inherent challenges and growth opportunities within the regional and global sector.

Spread over the show’s final two days, more than 30 international speakers are chairing 12 sessions covering the entire satellite sector. Final day highlights on Thursday include sessions entitled ‘Integrating the Digital World: Satellites, Big data, the Internet of Things and the Cloud’, ‘Ensuring an Interference-free World of Satellite Services’ and ‘From Niche to Mainstream: New Strategic Markets for VSAT with Communications-on-the-Move’.

The final day of CABSAT also witnessed hundreds of media industry officials from Sri Lanka, China, the USA and Nigeria – including the West African country’s Minister of Information and Culture – attend the International Delegation Reception, an event conceived for global officials to explore business content and product opportunities.