Saturday, April 7, 2007 In Boiler Room | trackback

4,…,2,1, Action

Comparison between One TV and MBC

TV broadcasting has gone a long way since shut-up-and-watch single-sided earth channels, when ugly news broadcasters frowned during news, then put on a fake smile to announce the “next on TV” program. Those were the days when all channels were called “TV.” With the skies being crowded with image transmitters, fighting over the earthly crowds is becoming less of luxury and more of business survival.

Since competition arrived, TV stations were becoming better. Until recently above the skies of Amman, there has only been one dominant, MBC group. Thinking it can never get any better, comes along the little brat: One TV (AKA Dubai One). The competition is at heat, and here is a comparison.

Beauty versus ugliness

One’s orange was striking so hard it casted MBC channel 4 as ugly, dumb, and character-less. MBC started putting efforts ever since, to blow life in an abandoned body, only to shock us of how different things were now that there was competition. The logo of One TV was so unique and full of character, it left MBC staggering for a breath of life with their dull “channel 4” stamp. But they were smart. Turning the slogan into a character – It’s for you!- they got off with the vocal identity, and putting cloths over the “4” they bashed the visual identity.

The logo of One TV was so unique and full of character, it left MBC staggering for a breath of life with their dull “channel 4” stamp.

The patterns of One TV were simply unbeatable, or that was what we thought. Using their “comma” based logo, they turned every break announcement into adorable and interesting shapes and plays, that you must have a favorite regardless of your preferences. Channel 4 came round fast and started making their own patterns, shaping and playing with the 4, producing beauty. Now that One changed their self promo into some hideous, gruesome, aimless, dull and ridiculous human-involved plays, Channel 4 has won this battle. Hideous human-based stupidity did not escape Channel 4 though, was it me or did you see how big of a mouth the yoga girl had? Ugly!

MBC Action, however, is an exception. They started out with the power of Yellow, and stayed on top of it. (MBC Action Premiere on YouTube.)

On the level of displaying promotions for general programs, I gotta say, MBC looks like an amateur with a paint bucket and a white sheet. I cannot help but sing along the “daa dadadada daaa…” of One’s 3-movies-a-night promo! (Next time you’re watching, pay attention. Awesome!) But One not only took care of every sketch they played, but recently they started dressing soon-to-show movies and series with a whole new outfit. (As an example, see the Lethal Weapon and Sopranos promotional.) MBC group is way behind. Their sketches are “cut and paste like shit!”

See Sopranos Promotional on YouTube.

Useful versus inept

Announcing a soon-coming movie on One TV is much smarter than the “burn it all” approach of MBC channels. The earlier method was also strong: displaying a single seen that shows major stars, and silently announcing the soon coming movie. Recently One TV started playing around with it graphically pushing MBC way back.

The female voice on MBC is not adequate to announce “Alias” or “Law and Order!”

The vocals on One TV is much subtler and more powerful, both the male and female voices. Personally I think the female voice on MBC is not adequate to announce “Alias” or “Law and Order!” It’s just good for “girls movie night.” The male voice does not speak Arabic very well, or so it sounds!

Rolling down the programs of the day although graphically outcasts MBC, yet it is very useless and does not serve the purpose, so I would vote for MBC program roller, especially that on MBC Action. One’s method is a bit forced.

Labeling with “showing now,” “next,” and “later,” One TV came first, MBC 4 picked up fast afterwards, and they did a good job. One TV used to display all three labels in one shot, now in three shots, I would vote for the former because it is more practical. One TV learns fast; they pushed these labels from lower corner to upper left corner to avoid overlapping with textual and subtitle labels. MBC still annoyingly display them above the subtitle.

MBC’s edge is “tomorrow same time” label

Announcing a “Don’t Miss” label is One’s edge, although the date and time displayed are hard to read. MBC’s edge is “tomorrow same time” label which I believe is one of the greatest advantages of MBC.

Displaying two time zones for every program is a failure on both channels. I believe they should always announce with a single reference, which aught to be KSA time, and if they can’t do it, follow in the steps of the greatest channel in history: BBC. They announce their upcoming programs with a relative time: In three hours, in forty five minutes…etc. Smart!

MBC made use of the “guide” button on satellite remotes perfectly well. One TV are still behind. Finally, coming back after break is announced with a useless ugly screen on Channel 2 because they did not deploy labels.

Audience selection

MBC group consists of the regular MBC, Channel 2, Channel 3, Channel 4, Action and Al Arabiah. The most famous are 2, 4 and Action. Realizing the mistake they did by dubbing the channel as “One TV,” they soon changed the name to “Dubai One” to connect it to Dubai TV, Dubai Sports channel, and Sema Dubai. None of these channels are as famous as One.

Displaying two time zones for every program is a failure on both channels.

While Dubai channels are more versatile and cover more interests, MBC channels heavily focus on one audience: young adults. Three of the group’s channels are dedicated to western movies and programs. The newly added MBC Action was a very smart move on their part.

I don’t know if it’s arrogance, clumsiness or plain stupidity on MBC’s part, but showing CBS the Early Show and America’s weather forecast is drug dealing! (Read Copycat Weather Forecast.) Dubai already jumped them with their English news bulletin for UAE residents. Both channels, however, try to force in values of the western world into our oriental innocence with their fashion shows, Inside Edition and Insider, or US-oriented talk shows like the View, Oprah, and Dr schizo-Phil!

Both ends of Boston can describe pretty much the genre of movies and series on both channels; Boston Public on MBC versus Boston Legal on One TV. Put the following on the right channel that shows them: Charmed, X-files, Joe Billionaire, ER, the OC, One Tree Hill, Lethal Weapon I, CSI, Cold Case, and Gilmore Girls. Okay, I’m not always right, but that’s the general feeling.

Broadcasting Rights

Competition is very obvious in terms of syndication, buying shows is not enough any more, it is “rights to show above the Arab region” that they are after. When One TV gets the Oscars, MBC gets the Night After the Oscars! (Like anyone would care!) One TV gained rights for showing Desperate House Wives, while MBC enjoyed Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and Prison Break. And… the hell I care! 🙂

Personally, I just enjoy the art of One TV and make sure never to miss a CSI episode.

Visit: MBC Group, Dubai One

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