Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group division Entertainment Studios is to launch seven of its networks in the Middle East on Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company’s Du platform. The deal was brokered by SAWA Rights Management. It is part of an overall arrangement that will soon extend to other Middle East and North Africa nations, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunis, Algeria and Morocco. “The international demand for American content is a multi-billion dollar marketplace,” said Tom Devlin, president of international television sales/marketing at Entertainment Studios. “We are excited to bring our portfolio of family-friendly lifestyle networks and programming to the Middle East and North Africa television markets for the first time as we continue to expand our network brands worldwide.”
Mel Giedroyc, the former host of The Great British Bake Off, is to front another competition series with echoes of the baking show. She will present woodwork competition series Good With Wood, which will be produced by Grant Mansfield’s Plimsoll Productions. Woodworkers will be tasked with crafting beautiful and ambitious builds to exacting briefs, ramping up to a “big build.” It is not dissimilar to a format announced by A+E Networks UK’s Sky History last month titled The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker. Good With Wood will be executive produced by Grant Mansfield and Karen Plumb, while the Channel 4 commissioner is Daniel Fromm. The series will be distributed worldwide by Magnify Media.