[Satellite Today 07-13-09] Showtime Arabia and the Orbit Group are merging their direct-to-home (DTH) platforms to form a single provider in the Middle East, the companies announced July 12. The new company, which has yet to be named, will be an equal partnership between Orbit Group, a member of the Riyadh-based Mawarid Group, and Showtime Arabia, a subsidiary of Kuwait Projects Co. The combined platform will serve the Middle East and North Africa, offering more than 70 channels. “This merger creates [the Middle East and North Africa’s] largest pay-TV operator offering the very best premium channels in the region as well as truly innovative services to our customers including [high-definition] channels, video on demand and other interactive services. The new company will continue to run its core operations and corporate functions from Bahrain and Dubai, bringing together experienced and talented employees who are tasked with extracting significant synergies and delivering the best value from this merger for all our stakeholders and customers,” sai Showtime Arabia CEO Marc-Antoine d’Halluin said in a statement.