The Walt Disney Company is not planning to launch its streaming service Disney Plus in the Middle East region in the near future, but will license its original content instead exclusively to regional pay TV and streaming firm OSN.
Originals including “The Mandalorian,” “Lady and the Tramp” and docuseries “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” will play on OSN’s box and its relaunched streaming service in the region. The online streaming service costs $9.50 a month.
Regional entertainment network OSN broadcasts into 24 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
It is the first time Disney Plus original content has been distributed through a third-party provider.
Amit Malhotra, Disney’s regional lead for content sales and distribution, said: “Given that we currently do not plan to launch Disney Plus as a standalone service in the region in the near future, we are pleased to work with OSN to bring Disney Plus Originals to viewers in the Middle East.”
OSN chief executive Patrick Tillieux added: “Adding Disney Plus Originals to our boxes and streaming services is a huge milestone for us and reinforces our commitment to offering premium content to our regional audience from only the most exceptional brands.”
OSN is owned and operated by Dubai-based Panther Media Group, and has two shareholders, KIPCO and the Mawarid Group.
The Disney Plus deal is likely to intensify competition with the likes of Netflix, which has a strong regional presence.
Disney Plus went live in most of Europe last month, and is set to launch in India on Friday.