Egyptian tycoon Sawiris sold ONTV over lack of profits, will invest heavily in advertisement

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 May 2016

Egypt's business tycoon Naguib Sawiris (Photo: Al Ahram)

Business tycoon Naguib Sawiris said Tuesday that the sale of satellite TV channel ONTV resulted from failed attempts to turn the channel into a lucrative investment, adding that he still intends to invest heavily in TV advertisement through his company Promomedia.

Sawiris sold ONTV Sunday to high-profile businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima, whose company Egyptians' Media bought the channel in a bid to "pump investment into domestic media."

The former owner said in a statement Tuesday on ONA, a private news agency affiliated to ONTV, that ONTV's programming focuses on coverage of news and current events, which according to Sawiris "cannot make profits in the Egyptian market."

He clarified that in order to make a profitable TV network, content has to include lighter material, such as drama, film and life style programming.

"This requires heavy investments to establish such a comprehensive network," said Sawiris, who clarified in the statement that he is not ready to invest in that direction.

Instead, Sawiris explained that his plan is to invest in the field of advertising rights and media production that will include films, television series and programmes through Promomedia.

He said he has already gave the thumbs up to increase the company's capital to EGP 500 million, and will be in charge of its boards of directors.

"Selling ONTV removed any suspicions over a conflict of interest for owning a TV channel and advertisement rights for another channel, which will open the door for us to cooperate with all channels," Sawiris said.

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