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Disney Partners With OSN For Launch Of Its Disney+ Services In Middle East

Disney Partners With OSN For Launch Of Its Disney+ Services In Middle East
Disney+ streaming services from WALT Disney is set to make its debut in the Middle East and North Africa from April 9 in partnership with OSN – the regional pay television and online streaming service provider.
Without disclosing much information about the deal, OSN Chief Executive Patrick Tillieux told the media that a "long-term" exclusive distribution rights agreement has been signed between Disney and the Dubai-headquartered OSN.
17 regional markets, including Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will get access to Disney+ original programming, including hit show 'The Mandalorian', on OSN's pay television and online streaming services. The cost of the services gas has been fixed at $9.50 a month.
OSN said this agreement marks the first instance of Disney deciding to distribute the content Disney+ through a third party service provider.
"We currently do not plan to launch Disney+ as a standalone service in the region in the near future," Walt Disney Regional Lead Amit Malhotra said in a statement.
It is expected that the competition between Disney and the likes of Netflix will be increased because of the deal. Netflix already has a sizable presence in the Middle East.
OSN itself has undergone a massive restructuring as it reduced its workforce of 2,300 by about 60 per cent in 2019. The company has annual revenues of about $500 million.
"We have come out of a dark period," Tillieux said.
However, even though OSN is no longer able to use shopping centres for selling and promoting its products because those are closed to prevent spread of the coronavirus , he said that he was confident about the business outlook of the company for this year.
Burt with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic gripping most of the countries of the world and as countries lockdown or issue stay at home orders, people forced to remain confined in their homes have taken to watching online content, That has significantly increased the usage of pay television and online streaming services over the last two weeks across the region, he said.
The lockdown and stay at home orders in many parts of the Middle East because of the coronavirus pandemic means that OSN has been forced to resort to only online platforms and means to promote and market the launch of Disney+ content. The company was forced to its prior plans of engaging in traditional outdoor advertising because very few people are currently getting out of their homes.
"We are pushing heavily on ... digital," Tillieux said.
Kuwait Projects Co., Kuwait's largest listed investment company, is the major shareholder of OSN.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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