Israel seems to be watching Syria..or at least its musalsalat (soap opera), a TV product where the Syrians are among the top producers in the Arab region. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports about the impressive viewing of “Bab al Hara”, one of the top Syrian productions of last Ramadan season (broadcaster by Saudi owned and Dubai based channel MBC), on Israelis’mobile screens. The mobile content provider Cellcom reports that in the month of October (slightly after Ramadan) 100,000 views of the Syrian soap opera were registred. The soap was distributed on Israeli mobiles without being pushed by any marketing or advertising, just through word of mouth. Having in mind the numbers of “Big Brother” – a well known Western format and extensively advertised on TV- that scored more than 150.000 views, the Syrian soap opera reached a great result.
This shows the potentialy in terms of TV market of the Arab-Israeli community (the so called “tamania wa arb3aeen”) that has always been neglected. This community wants to be connected to rest of the Arab world, also by sharing the same TV products that all the Arabs are viewing. The mobile seems to be the best media to provide this sense of belonging, as it is more personal, and also can solve the problems of some rural areas that are not served by cable infrastructures.
The Israeli case also proves once more the success of “Bab al Hara”, which is now going towards its 4th season of broadcasting.