Tuesday 19, April 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Further strengthening its roster of world-class and exclusive comedy content, OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, has signed an agreement with Viacom International Media Networks to add the number one global comedy brand, Comedy Central, to its offering of entertainment channels.

Comedy Central HD is the third brand for VIMN in the region, complementing the existing presence of MTV and Nickelodeon/NickJr.

From May 7, Comedy Central HD (OSN Channel No. 207) will be available exclusively on OSN in the Middle East and North Africa region, adding to the distinctive ‘nowhere else’ value proposition that the network provides to its subscribers. To effectively satisfy local appetites for comedic entertainment, 100 percent of the content premiering in the region on Comedy Central HD, including animated programmes, will be subtitled in Arabic.

Comedy Central is the undisputed leader in funny around the globe with a presence in more than 120 countries, a deep library of international content and an increasing commitment to local productions. Among the popular programs the brand will be airing in the region are The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Comedy Central Presents…, Inside Amy Schumer, Lip Sync Battle and the animated hit, South Park.

Emad Morcos, SVP Media Partners & Digital at OSN, said: “Everybody loves a good laugh and OSN is offering great value with the addition of Comedy Central HD, a perfect fit to the entertainment preferences of people in the region. We are confident that the wide range of comic series, sitcoms and reality-competitions will appeal to all. Comedy Central contributes to the diversity of exclusive entertainment choices we have added to OSN this year. Complemented with a host of edgy programmes from Spike, Comedy Central is also creating the opportunity for local talent to showcase their skills through our planned local programming.”

Raffaele Annecchino, EVP and MD of VIMN South Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: ‘We are thrilled to work with OSN to further expand our distribution footprint in MENA and bring Comedy Central and Spike to the region. At Viacom, we are committed to creating content that resonates locally and internationally, and we are certain that viewers will love the unique editorial mix on OSN. Delivering this balance of premium international and local comedy content is our expertise and we look forward to working with OSN to bring laughter and satisfaction to MENA audiences, who we know are passionate about comedy. Furthermore, we are committed, as in all of our regions, to growing the local comedy scene and investing in local productions and we will be focusing our energies on this from the first year.’

Fans of talk show TV will be delighted to learn that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, currently on OSN Play, will also be featured on the new channel. The Emmy-Award winning show hosts a star-studded line-up of celebrities including actors, authors, singers and presidential hopefuls as guests under the sharp comic wit and smart observations of South African host Trevor Noah.

Comedy Central favorites Tosh.0 and Inside Amy Schumer will also be featured on OSN. Fans won’t miss a thing as both of the long-running series will be aired from their first seasons starting in April. The weekly Tosh.0 delves into all aspects of the social media landscape, featuring razor-sharp humour and biting commentary from comedian Daniel Tosh. The show, now in its 8th season, is an international hit and will air its 200th episode this summer. Emmy-Award winning Inside Amy Schumer features the famous, edgy comedian performing a variety of hilarious sketches, stand up, interviews and musical performances.

Further bolstering the quality of its premium programming, the new channel will feature a dedicated block of Spike content. Spike is a general entertainment brand offering original productions created to inform, engage, inspire and above all push the boundaries of the unexpected. Shows from Spike will include the global smash-hit and YouTube viral sensation Lip Sync Battle, as well as the popular Catch a Contractor, an original non-scripted series that sees host Adam Carolla on a mission to track down shady, evasive contractors and drag them back to the scene of their crimes to face the music and fix the disasters they left behind.

Stand-up lovers will find The Half Hour, featuring some of the exciting names in stand-up comedy, irresistible, while Nathan For You, a factual show that sees host Nathan Fielder going as far as it takes to make his business ideas come true. Internationally produced shows include I Live with Models, a hilarious sitcom where newly ‘discovered’ hand model Tommy must ‘live his dream’ with three experienced fashion models.

Competition reality series Frankenfood follows New York executive chef and restaurateur Josh Capon as he discovers new flavours; while Framework explores the compelling world of furniture design and construction. Sweat Inc. is another reality-competition series featuring 12 aspiring fitness entrepreneurs competing to prove that they have developed the next ground-breaking exercise programme.

Finally, the all-new Comedy Central HD exclusively on OSN will include domestically produced programmes that will lend a crucial and authentic local feel to the channel. Comedy lovers will enjoy a mix of popular international comedy series and docu-reality programmes, as well as join Comedy Central in celebrating the thriving local stand-up comedy circuit on Comedy Central Presents…

All the shows premiering on Comedy Central HD will be available on OSN’s award-winning catch-up service, OSN Play and via OSN on Demand.

OSN continues to strengthen its portfolio of premium exclusive channels. New and exclusive channels launched this year include: OSN Yahala Cinema HD, OSN Movies Family HD, OSN First HD Home of HBO, H2 HD, BBC First HD, Discovery Family HD and IDX HD. In addition, six new Filipino channels were launched recently – CineMo, Lifestyle Network, GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, GMA News TV and PBO (live streamed on OSN Play). More exclusive channel launches are planned this year.