x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

OSN to offer shows online with OSN Play

Hundreds of hours of television shows and movies can now be streamed online through the broadcaster OSN with the launch of a digital service.

Hundreds of hours of television shows and movies can now be streamed online through the broadcaster OSN with the launch of a digital service.

For now, only satellite subscribers will be able to access OSN's digital programming through a Web-based player known as OSN Play. The service was to begin yesterday.

Customers will initially be able to view content on their computers, then later this year on certain tablets, smart TVs, smartphones and videogaming devices such as the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

"OSN Play takes this region to a whole new dimension in digital media," said David Butorac, the chief executive of OSN. "Digital media is an important step of development for all broadcasters."

Content streamed online through OSN Play will not cost an extra fee but will be limited to the satellite programmes for which a subscriber pays.

Everyone will be restricted to registering only up to two of their own devices at a time to view films such as Inception or Cars 2.

OSN's new offering is aimed at continuing to expand the company's subscriber base, which grew a record 30 per cent last year and is up 20 per cent this year compared with the same time a year ago, Mr Butorac said.

Introducing programming online will also help OSN create new means of earning advertising revenue from companies keen to reach tech-savvy customers.

"Not only does OSN Play provide a unique opportunity for our subscribers, it also provides a massive opportunity for growth for our business partners," said Mr Butorac.

He said the company was in discussion to increase OSN Play's Arabic content, which is currently limited to some TV programming and a couple of movies.

For now, studio partners including Warner Bros, Fox and HBO will provide programming that is predominantly in English from channels such as the Food Network, the Disney Channel, and History.

Certain programmes, including the American TV shows Cougar Town and The River, will debut digitally via OSN Play before they air over television.

"For OSN to maintain the number one position in entertainment, we also have to be leaders in the digital environment," said Emad Morcos, the vice president of business development and strategy at OSN.

nparmar@thenational.ae

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