ONE ON ONE: Motor TV puts things in motion

Theodore May
6 Min Read

We focus on many different kinds of motors, said Ahmed Hamdi, media manager for Motor TV.

Motor TV is not your typical car channel. In fact, to hear Hamdi talk about it, it’s not a car channel at all. This is your one-stop-shop for all things motors. Planes, trains and automobiles – even yachts.

Ahmed Abo Deshish is an old hand in the advertising business, and last year he set off on his own to establish a company that would become a regional media leader.

To that end, last year he began work on establishing the Egyptian International Satellite Channels and Artistic and Media Production.

In January of this year, the company was given its license and took space in Media City.

The company hopes to launch a number of channels, but it decided its first project would be Motor TV.

According to Hamdi, there is only one auto channel in the Middle East, Gear One, but the founders of Motor TV thought they could do better.

So they decided to go head-to-head with Gear One, and add the twist of covering motors broadly, rather than focusing solely on autos.

The channel was supposed to launch early in the year, but it was delayed as executives waited to find space for it on the satellite feed. In June, Motor TV officially premiered.

Motor TV has two sides to the business, the more lucrative of which is the infomercial segment. In that vein, the company sells airtime to companies in the auto sector that allows them to advertise.

Camera crews from Motor TV go to showrooms and show different types of cars. They also have programs where cameras will follow auto dealers around as they test drive their latest cars.

“We target brand name companies, said Hamdi, speaking of the test drive programs. “If there is a new brand, the show will go for a test drive.

Motor TV also sponsors auto shows, in which the organizers will pay to have the crews from the station come cover the event.

The other side of the business doesn’t make the same kind of money, but Motor TV executives are confident that feature shows will drive viewership.

The company is still looking for advertisers to cover the programming, but, in the meantime, it’s been working to develop a number of shows it hopes will keep viewers returning night after night.

The other aim of the feature programs is to sell Egypt to the international community as an appealing market for transportation industry executives, a concept that could eventually benefit the station itself.

“We want to deliver a message, said Hamdi, “that we have to get the people all over the world to see the Middle East as a good market.

One show that Motor TV currently airs is called “Without Obstacles. In it, camera crews follow commuters, who use motorbikes, around Cairo. The idea is to present both an entertaining look at the trials and tribulations of a motorcycle user and to present motorbikes to viewers as an alternative to cars.

The channel, which airs throughout the region (including more affluent areas like the Gulf), targets its programming to different socioeconomic levels of society.

While “Without Obstacles may appeal to the middle rungs of society, a similar show, “Top Bike, targets a more affluent audience. The show’s hosts discuss high-end motorcycles, like Harley-Davidson, with owners and vendors.

Conspicuously absent from all this programming is any mention of the broader motor industry. No shows covering the planes, no discussion of trains.

Hamdi insists that the company is still in its infancy. For the first two months of its operations, Motor TV ran from 6 pm to 2 am. Starting this week, it’s upping its schedule to a 16-hour daily run.

And broadening the scope of the programming is first among the company’s priorities.

It’s currently developing a show called “Yachts Master, in which hosts will profile some of the regions most luxurious ships and ship lines.

Motor TV has also signed a deal with a British television content provider, which sells the station programming on airplanes. Hamdi said, though, the channel hopes to begin providing its own content on air travel before long.

Motor TV is just the start of where company executives hope to take their new enterprise. They already have plans in the works to open new channels, though executives are mum as to what they might be.

But in two months, the channel has doubled its daily programming hours. It’s on a steep trajectory.

And it may just do a little good for the auto industry as it expands.

To read the other stories in our monthly special focus on Egypt s auto sector, click here:

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