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Fox taps Ericsson for Middle East broadcast services

EricssonEricsson has agreed an exclusive multi-year contract with Fox Networks Group Middle East to provide playout, media management and global distribution services for three new HD channels.

The channels – Fox Crime, Fox Life and Fox Rewayat – launched last month and are broadcast from Ericsson’s broadcast and media services hub in Abu Dhabi.

The agreement expands the existing relationship between the two companies, with Ericsson now supporting 10 Fox television channels from its Abu Dhabi hub.

“At Fox Networks Group, as we continue to expand our footprint across the Middle East, we want to ensure our channel experience is unparalleled,” said Sanjay Raina, general manager and senior vice president of Fox Networks Group Middle East.

“Building on our long-term partnership, we are delighted to select Ericsson for the playout, media management and global distribution services on our three new HD channels in the Middle East.”

Steve Nylund, head of broadcast and media services, Ericsson, said: “Over the last 18 months, we’ve focused on growing our broadcast and media services hub in Abu Dhabi by strengthening our relationships with broadcasters across the region and hiring a talented team to deliver these critical services for our clients.”

Fox Crime is an entertainment channel dedicated to crime and investigation; Fox Life will offer a  mix of travel, food, home, and wellness programs tailored to a Middle East audience; while Fox Rewayat is Fox Network’s first Arabic language channel.

News of the deal comes after Ericcson reported declines in sales and operating income in its Q3 results on Friday. Sales decreased 6% year-on-year to SEK47.8 billion (€4.95 billion), while the company made an operating loss of SEK4.8 billion, compared to operating income of SEK0.3 billion a year earlier.

The company said that restructuring charges of SEK2.8 billion were taken in the quarter, including a write-down of SEK1.6 billion related to the decision to close and divest its ICT centre in Canada.

“We continue to execute on our focused business strategy. While more remains to be done we are starting to see some encouraging improvements in our performance despite a continued challenging market,” said Ericsson president and CEO, Börje Ekholm.