John de Mol’s Talpa has launched a Middle East production unit, which will be run by former Sony Pictures Television exec Ziad Kebbi.
He will run Talpa Middle East alongside Maximum Media, the regional prodco he formed after leaving SPT.
Sources first linked Kebbi with Talpa as TBI revealed news of Zebbi’s departure from SPT in August.
Kebbi produced the Middle Eastern version of Talpa’s biggest format, The Voice, and Talpa Middle East’s first project will be the third season of The Voice Arabia (pictured below) for regional broadcaster MBC.
At the new Talpa Middle East unit, announced this morning, Kebbi will report to Talpa Global managing director, Maarten Meijs.
“The Arab speaking region has been evolving rapidly, both on a technological and industrial level,” said Kebbi. “With 350 million people spread over such a vast area in so many countries, it is clearly a region with many opportunities.”
Meijs added: “We’re therefore very pleased to have Ziad Kebbi on board; he has worked with every broadcaster in the region and is thoroughly familiar with the Talpa catalogue.”
Kebbi said: “We can now super serve Arab broadcasters with dedicated resources, local expertise and Talpa’s format leadership to create outstanding television for Arab audiences everywhere.”
Netherlands-based Talpa is currently weighing bids for the company from various suitors.