LBC Sat to rebrand in wake of ‘sex braggart’ scandal

LBC Sat is to rebrand and launch a completely new programme grid in the wake of the ‘sex braggart’ case in Saudi Arabia.

The channel, which is part of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Rotana Group, is due to rollout the new image before the end of the year, although it is not yet known whether the rebranding is for LBC Sat only, or will include the domestic LBC station in Lebanon.

gladiatorsThe changed grid will include three new shows – Perfect Bride, an Arabic version of Gladiator, and Celebrity Duet.

Hassan Suleiman, vice president of Rotana Media Services (RMS), the Rotana Group’s sales and promotions arm, said: “The identity – the corporate image of the station – will be totally different and we will launch a completely new grid that will include Arabic series, Arabic movies, international movies and talk shows, so viewers will watch a completely new station.”

The rebrand follows a public outcry in Saudi Arabia caused by LBC Sat’s broadcasting of an interview with a Jeddah man Mazen Abdul-Jawad, who boasted of his sexual conquests on the programme Ahmar Bil Khat Al Arid.

The programme led to LBC Sat’s offices in Jeddah and Riyadh being closed by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information, and to Abdullah al-Jasser, undersecretary for media affairs at the ministry, warning Saudi investors in satellite TV stations not to cause offence to their country by allowing material which violates Islamic teachings to be aired.

Abdul-Jawad has since been sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes, while female journalist Rozanna al-Yami was sentenced to 60 lashes for her involvement in the organisation of the show. She was later pardoned.

LBC Sat has faced a significant advertising boycott as a result of the scandal, admitted Suleiman.

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