Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 January 2020

TLC and Discovery Channel removed from OSN, with immediate effect

Discovery has issued a statement to say that they have 'negotiated in good faith' with OSN for 'several months' but that 'OSN has refused to finalise negotiations'

Avery and Omar in the latest season of '90 Day Fiance' - the very popular show is on TLC, a channel that will no longer be broadcast on OSN. 
Avery and Omar in the latest season of '90 Day Fiance' - the very popular show is on TLC, a channel that will no longer be broadcast on OSN. 

Several channels that OSN customers have as part of their subscriptions are going dark, and "with immediate effect" according to the media company Discovery, Inc.

The channels that will cease to broadcast are reality channels TLC, Discovery, Discovery Science and Investigation Discovery. Many of these channels have been available to satellite TV provider OSN's customers for more than a decade. The channels no longer appear on the OSN TV service.

The shows screened on these channels include 90 Day Fiance, Deadliest Catch, Cake Boss, Say Yes to the Dress and A Crime to Remember. The series 90 Day Fiance charts real-life long-distance couples who are getting married via the United States's K-1 visa process: there are many spin-offs of the show, and they are all very successful, making TLC the number one primetime ad-supported cable network in the US for women.

Why have the channels disappeared?

Discovery has issued a statement to say that they have "negotiated in good faith" with OSN for "several months", but that "OSN has refused to finalise negotiations." OSN responded, telling The National they "have been in ongoing negotiations for several months to reach an agreement that was best for our customers, but despite our efforts, we, like many other platforms and broadcasters globally, have found the price expectations for the Discovery portfolio to be unrealistic," a spokesperson from OSN said.

Discovery later rebutted this claim, telling The National that the "issue is not unrealistic payment expectations".

Both OSN and Discovery have expressed an interest in resolving the issue and bringing the channels back on air, however. OSN says they "are committed to resolving this issue as a matter of priority and remain hopeful that Discovery will come to an agreement with us."

Meanwhile, Discovery says they are "working tirelessly towards a solution which will see our much loved content back on screens across the region, and hope the parties can reach a swift resolution for the benefit of our customers."

OSN is a direct-broadcast satellite provider that operates across the Middle East and North Africa. The channel OSN Series First broadcasts a lot of HBO content, there is a Comedy Central channel, several movie channels, E Entertainment, news channels, MTV, children's channels including Nickelodeon and a range of Arabic language channels.

In March this year, OSN ceased to operate several of its sports channels, and retained only two cricket channels. The pay-TV service said it was moving its focus from sport to more premium movies and female-centric programming.

Updated: December 17, 2019 04:04 AM

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