LONDON: MBC Group, the Middle East and North Africa region’s leading media company, announced new partnerships on Thursday to expand the number of anime titles available on its streaming platform Shahid.
The Riyadh-based organization said in a statement it had teamed up “with key anime studios and production houses in Japan beyond to bring more anime content to its streaming platform.”
“Anime is extremely popular in the Middle East region — particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — so needless to say, we are incredibly excited to be making new additions to our ever-expanding anime catalog on Shahid, bringing new and hit titles that audiences will love exploring,” said Tareq Al-Ibrahim, director of content for subscription video on demand at Shahid.
As part of the new deals, MBC Group said it has secured exclusive rights in MENA to TV Tokyo’s “Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War,” the 52-episode Japanese anime television series based on the “Bleach” manga series by Tite Kubo, and a direct sequel to the “Bleach” anime series.
The title, which returns after an eight-year hiatus, is available to stream on Shahid at the same time as in Japan and the US.
The group also announced the extension of the partnership with TOEI Animation, the Japanese anime studio behind the 25-year global hit manga series “One Piece.” As part of the renewed collaboration, MBC Group will air the new upcoming episodes of the series exclusively on its platform.
Following the success of the anime adaptation of “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” on Shahid, the media group has also expanded its partnership with its production company, Aniplex.
Under the new collaboration, fans will enjoy more than 200 hours of Aniplex content on Shahid, including “Fate/Stay Night,” “Sword Art Online,” and “Gurren Lagann.”
The move reinforces MBC Group’s commitment to expanding its anime offering, continuing to add to an already rich catalog that includes renowned titles “Hunter x Hunter,” “Legend of the Galactic Heroes,” “Belle,” as well as the Japanese–Saudi Arabian animated action fantasy film, “The Journey.”
The company said the new titles will be available to stream on Shahid by the end of the year.
The news comes at an exciting moment for the MBC Group. The company was reported last month to be working with HSBC Holdings and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to go public as early as next year.