CAIRO: The Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) ordered Sunday that award-winning satirist Bassem Youssef and the Qsoft production company pay 50 million EGP ($7 million) each to the CBC channels of Future Media for violating the contract of Youssef’s “Al Bernameg” talk show, judicial sources told Youm7.
In November 2013, Youssef cancelled the show’s contract with Future Media and sued it before the CRCICA, calling for compensation after the channel stopped broadcasting his show after he began mocking then-likely candidate President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. “Al Bernameg” is often compared to the American “The Daily Show” hosted by John Stewart, and Stewart and Youssef are in fact friends, having both made appearances on each other’s programs.
Qsoft announced Sunday it will challenge the CRCICA decision, Masrway online reported.
“Al Bernameg” began as a YouTube show after the January 25 Revolution in 2011, and then broadcast 104 episodes on ONTV channel in 2011 and 2012. CBC hosted the show until June 2013, right before the June 30 protests that led to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.
The channel aired only the first episode of the third season of the show in October 2013, then announced it would not air the show because of “contract violations” when Youssef poked fun at Sisi.
MBC channel began broadcasting the show in February 2014, then suspended it during the 2014 presidential elections in May, and in June Youssef announced it was “too dangerous” for him to continue the show due to the current “political climate” in Egypt.
Additional reporting by Hanan Fayed