It has been a good month for television networks across the Middle East. With Ramadan coming to an end this week, newly released research shows that viewers watched more TV over the past 30 days compared to the rest of the year, which is obviously great news for advertisers, not to mention production houses as well.
According to UAE-based network OSN, at least one in three people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region watched 3 to 5 hours of television every day during Ramadan compared to the regional average of 3.1 hours throughout the rest of the year.
Unsurprisingly, Egypt led the pack with more than 37 per cent watching 3 to 5 hours of TV, 26 per cent spending 1 to 3 hours and 15 per cent hooked to their entertainment for 5 to 7 hours each day. In Saudi Arabia, 33 per cent spend 3 to 5 hours every day, while in UAE and Kuwait, 32 and 30 per cent, respectively, dedicate 3 to 5 hours to TV viewing.
But which shows did well, and which ones were better left on the shelf?
While specific viewing figures are yet to be made available for the UAE, 80 per cent of OSN customers made watching Season 3 of Hareem Al Sultan their priority. Meanwhile, in Egypt — arguably the biggest market for advertisers — Al Hayat TV won the majority of viewers (88 per cent), stated MENA-based IRS Research.
It will come as a shock to many, but Ramez Galal’s controversial show, Ramez Ankh Amoun — which sees the actor pranking celebrities, including the now infamous episode with Haifa Wehbe (just YouTube it) — was the number one show this Ramadan. It attracted 88 per cent of total viewers. This has made his programme the top-viewed show for the third consecutive year, following Ramez Qalb Al Assad and Ramez Thaalab Al Sahraa in the past two Ramadan seasons.
Meanwhile, Mai Ezz Al Deen’s Al Shak — showing on Dubai TV — has been revealed as the top drama of thw month, drawing in 41 per cent of total viewers.
So who else has made it into the Top 10 this year? More below.
1) Ramez Ankh Amoun
2) Al Shak
3) Al Aaraf (Adel Imam)
4) Al Kebeer Awy (Ahmed Mekky)
5) Hekayet Hayat (Ghada Abdel Razek)
6) Alzoga Althanya (Amr Waked)
7) Mazag Al Khair (Mostafa Shaaban)
8) Mossalssaliko (Mohammad Heneidy)
9) Khatawat Al Shaytan (Moez Masoud)
10) Ana Wal Assal (presented by Neshan Der Haroutiounian)
News in brief
Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf may be hot property right now, but he’s just like the rest of us when it comes to meeting his favourite stars.
On his official Facebook page, the Arab Idol 2 winner posted a snap of him looking very excited alongside FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. Assaf, who’s currently putting the final touches to his debut album, was invited to sing in front of the Spanish team, who were in the West Bank as part of their Middle East peace tour. Assaf will be spending a lot more time in the West Bank, as on Tuesday Israel granted him West Bank residency in an extremely rare move. Assaf, 23, is from the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza.
Guy Inbar, an Israeli military spokesman, confirmed on Tuesday that Israel has granted West Bank residency to Assaf, his sister, brother-in-law and the couple’s three children. Inbar said Israel responded to a request by the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank-based self-rule government of President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Islamic militant Hamas rulers of Gaza gave Assaf a cool reception when he briefly visited Gaza after his win. Hamas views contests such as Arab Idol as frivolous and opposes them on religious grounds.
Basma is a new mama
Egyptian actress Basma and her politician hubby, Amr Hamzawy, have welcomed a little girl.
On his Twitter account, Hamzawy confirmed the arrival of baby Nadia and that mother and baby were doing fine.
The celeb couple, who met in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian protests of 2011, tied the knot last year.