Middle Eastern pay-TV network Showtime has acquired a large package of Arabic films for broadcast on its new pay-per-view (PPV) channels.

The films come from Egyptian group Al Arabia For Cinema Production & Distribution. Pictures Rehlat Hob starring Mohammed Fouad, Ga'ana Al Bayan Al Tali featuring Mohamed Heneidi and Amir Al Zalam starring Adel Emam. Precise details of the number of films and the value of the transaction were not disclosed.

Peter Einstein, president and CEO of Showtime, said: "Many of the Arabic titles that we have acquired have not been released previously in their original version either at cinemas or on video." Showtime will broadcast them on its Home Cinema PPV service which operates off ten channels.

Medhat Abbis, external distribution manager for Al Arabia, said: "The agreement with Showtime is important for us and for film fans in the Middle East. Through Showtime, our movies will reach a new segment of viewers. And I am confident that viewers will enjoy watching original directors' versions from the comfort of their own homes."

Ahmed Al-Ajeel, vice president, marketing, research and public relations, of Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) - KIPCO - Showtime's majority shareholder, said: "Home Cinema adds a new dimension to our media business. The launch of Arabic movies gives Showtime subscribers even greater added value."