Dubai – MENA Herald: Movie-lovers can now have the best of both worlds as OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, and Gulf Film, a distributor of major studio productions and independent movies, have signed a six-year exclusive partnership through 2021 for premium film content.
Marking a regional first, the partnership is underlined by OSN’s acquisition of the entire transaction window building exclusivity for the first-time across all platforms including over-the-top (OTT) content access available on the award-winning digital platform, OSN Play, that is free to subscribers and GO, the fast-growing non-subscriber based online TV service.
The deal will give OSN access to nearly 1,000 brand-new films distributed by Gulf Film in Arabic and English over a period of 6 years – exclusive to OSN. All the films will be available in glorious high-definition (HD) for an unbeatable home-viewing experience, and most of these films will be available for OSN viewers shortly after their theatrical release.
David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, said: “The exclusive multi-year output deal with Gulf Film is industry-defining for the MENA region. It marks the first time that an exclusive content sharing agreement has been signed with the region’s leading distributor of films. While OSN has built an incredible library of content through our ‘only-on-OSN’ partnerships with leading Hollywood studios, our association with Gulf Film significantly enhances our brand-new film content to define OSN as the home of blockbuster and the latest movies.”
OSN will also provide movie fans the added opportunity to watch some 56 trailers of the newest movies playing at Novo Cinemas, owned by Gulf Film, daily on its various channels. Further, Gulf Film will cross-promote OSN content at all Novo Cinema screens across the Middle East.
Selim El Azar, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Film, said: “As the pioneering film distribution house in the region, Gulf Film brings new theatrical releases every week. Through our partnership with OSN, we can further strengthen the visibility of our new releases via movie trailers and other behind-the-scenes looks. OSN subscribers will also have the opportunity to watch their favourite movies first on television on their network, and in truly spectacular HD quality. OSN will be the only platform to offer these movies to viewers in the region.”
As part of the agreement, OSN also holds the rights to broadcasting the films on its digital platforms including OSN Play and Go, assuring an anytime, anywhere film experience for its subscribers.
Some of the movies that subscribers can watch first and only on OSN with the partnership going into effect on January 1, 2016, include: Dirty Grandpa starring Robert De Niro & Zac Efron; Colossal starring Anne Hathaway; The Headhunter’s Calling starring Gerard Butler; Russel Crowe’s Fathers and Daughters; Henry Cavill’s Sand Castle; Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain; Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant; and Criminal Activities starring John Travolta.
The partnership with Gulf Film marks a concerted development strategy by OSN to strengthen its programming during 2016 to underline its credentials as the go-to place for the latest movies, series and general entertainment. OSN has already entered into multi-year exclusive partnerships for content with HBO, Warner Bros, NBC Universal and Paramount, among others. OSN recently launched five new channels with several additional premium and exclusive channels joining the platform through the year.
OSN has also launched ‘OSN Store’, the region’s first and largest buy & keep, electronic sell-through platform in the Middle East that enables customers to purchase and ‘store’ movies in true high-definition for unlimited viewing. More than 1,500 movies, including over 20 titles, will be available just days after its theatre release exclusively on OSN Store.
In addition to the new line-up of movies, in 2016, OSN will bring over 50 new and exclusive shows plus 70 continuing series premiering only on the network. Over 25 of the biggest and award-winning shows will premiere at the same time as the US so OSN viewers see the most talked about shows first.