How MBC became a faster, leaner media machine

By switching to Magnolia, broadcaster MBC created an intuitive, efficient article publishing machine, allowing its 100 staff to create and update content quickly and smoothly


Media & Entertainment


United Arab Emirates




An intuitive, efficient media machine serving great content 24/7

MBC is the largest broadcaster in the Middle East, with 165 million viewers. The group broadcasts 12 TV channels and 2 radio stations, as well as running a large online presence and many popular mobile apps. is its top entertainment portal, with microsites for every channel and program.

MBC attracts millions of website visitors each month. It needs to publish content fast and often, but its old CMS was unstable, slow and hard to use. By switching to Magnolia, MBC created an intuitive, efficient article publishing machine, allowing its 100 staff to create and update content quickly and smoothly. This reduced the creation time for microsites by 90% and shaved 75% off MBC's support costs. Now, Magnolia ensures that MBC’s many channels serve great content 24/7.


The Challenge


Publish and update content faster at lower costs

The largest broadcaster in the Middle East attracts millions of website visitors each month. It needs to publish content fast and update it often, but its old CMS was unstable, slow and expensive. In fact, it took weeks for program microsites to go live, because of the amount of manual work required.

To make things even worse, maintenance and support costs were five times higher than they should have been and the increasing traffic was becoming unmanageable.

The Solution

A customized approach to content management

With 165 million viewers, power and stability are very important for MBC, and Magnolia proved up to the challenge. Where other systems limit key components to one server, making it hard to scale out once the traffic requires it, Magnolia supports multiple front-end servers out of the box.

Because Magnolia is an open-source product, it enables developers to look at the core of the content system and understand it, which makes adding functionality and finding bugs much easier.

The implementation

The fact that Arabic reads from right to left was no problem when implementing Magnolia. The main limitation that MBC ran into was Magnolia’s content structure, which places content in specific locations to make creating and organizing pages very easy. Because MBC editors produce dozens of articles every day, they need the capability not only to easily publish a vast quantity of content, but also to re-use it in multiple locations. That’s where Magnolia’s customizability came in.

To solve this issue, Aperto designed and implemented a ‘content pool’ module to enable editors to place material in multiple locations on the website and in various mobile apps. When editing an article, MBC editors assign tags and categories to a piece and can then define which articles should be displayed on any given page with tags. For example, an editor can define that a certain page shows all articles tagged “sports”, and the content pool provides articles for a sports page. This feature allows the content stream to keep updating regularly and keeps the homepage fresh.

A completely customized interface

Aperto also customized Magnolia’s interface in order to tailor it to a journalist’s number one need - editing a large amount of articles. The new interface resulted in one single screen for editors. The technical steps are now just a question of creating a new page, setting up the right components and adding the right style sheet.

24/7 support

MBC found Magnolia’s core developers and support team to be consistently responsive, quick to solve issues and fix bugs. They were also reassured both by Magnolia’s online documentation and community and by other resources like Magnolia Academy, which were available to help 24/7.

The Result


A dynamic, effective media machine

By blending trusted Magnolia technology with a customized 'content pool' module, MBC got a lean effective publishing machine. Now, editors can work more efficiently than before, with minimal developer input. Microsites can be produced in only 10% of the time it took before and total cost of ownership has been reduced by 75%. MBC's 165 million viewers get great content 24/7.

Magnolia enabled us to create a lean article publishing machine across our multiple channels, allowing us to publish and update content quickly and efficiently. Our entertainment portal has microsites for every channel and program, and now we can create them in only 10% of the time it took before. The implementation has saved us 75% in costs.
Adriaan Bloem

Adriaan Bloem

Senior Manager Online, MBC

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