Case study

TV audience research & segmentation – MBC Group

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Winning a TV audience with smart data

“Within three months we saw an increase of over 25% audience share during the specific TV timeslot.” Ibrahim Kadiri Senior Manager – Research & Insights, MBC Group

In brief

  • MBC Group wanted to increase TV viewing share and grow revenues
  • Clusters delivered a TV audience segmentation of viewers in key territories
  • The market research and intelligence was used to inform MBC’s marketing, and optimise programming and scheduling
  • MBC’s research team has benefited from improved effectiveness and visibility
  • In just three months, MBC saw an increase of over 25% audience share for a specific timeslot


MBC Group is the largest free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World. Launched in London in 1991 and later moving its headquarters to Dubai in 2002, MBC has a portfolio of 12 TV channels ranging from broad mainstream interest, to more specialised and tightly-targeted content. After many years of growth, MBC was looking to increase its revenues, secure its dominant position in the marketplace by strengthening viewing share at the expense of competitors, and minimise cannibalisation between its own MBC channels.

MBC’s challenge was to precisely define each channel’s specific audience to optimise programming and scheduling, and to better understand trigger points for marketing campaigns.

Abim Onasanya, senior manager, digital media – research & insights at MBC Group explains, “MBC Group was looking for a superior segmentation which would deliver clear and detailed intelligence on our key audiences to our brand marketing and Group TV thinking and planning activities.” The goal was for insight that would drive better promotion, and help commercialise viewing through advertising sales.


The MBC research team appointed Clusters to run a segmentation of television viewers in its key markets: Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Clusters ran a survey with TV viewers to collect in-depth data on viewing habits and preferences, plus attitudinal, lifestyle and media usage information. Based on the survey results, Clusters used its proprietary segmentation software to segment TV viewers on what TV they watch, when they watch and why they watch particular channels or programmes. Chris Cowan, managing director of Clusters commented, “We created for MBC a regional market map with a set of clear, distinct segments created on TV viewing, but locally profiled. As a result, we could compare and contrast each segment’s attitudes behind these behaviours, and identify each segment’s local brand and media usage.”

  • Key insights for each segment included:
  • What channels and types of programme they watch
  • How much TV they watch
  • When they are watching TV
  • Barriers and motivations – why they watch some programmes/channels and not others
  • Who they watch with and the impact this has on viewing
  • The impact of the MBC brand on each segment
  • The strengths and vulnerabilities of the different competitors
  • Propensities and gaps – what might make viewers change what

Ibrahim Kadiri, senior manager, research & insights at MBC Group commented, “Clusters provided a smart body of clear and usable research that delivered solidly on the brief set out by our research team. The insights were explored via numerous workshop sessions with key stakeholders and are now available in a bespoke dashboard, which is used extensively by our marketing teams. Clusters segmentation expertise and client management is to be highly commended.”


The intelligence delivered by the Clusters segmentation has provided MBC Group with a standardised detailed picture of audiences across various channels and programmes. Abim Onasanya, head of research & insights at MBC Group explained, “Our executive team has noticed the increased speed and quality of insight – and this has raised the effectiveness and visibility of the MBC research team.”

MBC Group is now armed with better information to help its channels trigger more viewing to the MBC portfolio. Commenting on working with Clusters, Ibrahim Kadiri said, “Clusters spent time to delve into technical detail relating to their segmentation technique and answer questions coming from across the MBC Group to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders.”

Find out more about how we have helped clients increase their revenue through effective TV audience & media research and segmentation, and get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you grow your business.