MENA's OSN adds ABS-CBN to Filipino bouquet
Rebecca Hawkes | 25-04-2013

OSN is teaming up with Filipino TV network ABS-CBN to deliver more Filipino entertainment to viewers of its pay-TV platform across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The announcement comes days after another broadcaster from the Philippines, GMA Network, announced it was moving its MENA offering from OSN to rival high definition television (HDTV) platform My-GMA, and lowering its subscription fee by 22% (from $32 to $25) from 1 May.

The Arab world plays host to somewhere in the region of 2.5 to 3 million Filipinos the second largest amount of Filipinos abroad after the United States, and a considerable number of viewers for the pay-TV networks to woo.

Four ABS-CBN channels will now be carried by OSN: flagship entertainment channel TFC (The Filipino Channel); Bro, a sports and entertainment channel; premium film channel Cinema One Global; and ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel), a 24-hour news channel featuring chat shows and documentaries from the Philippines and around the world.

"Our partnership with ABS-CBN, the largest provider of entertainment to Filipinos globally, is a clear demonstration of our network's strength in reaching out to the widest cross-section of the region's Filipino community," said David Butorac, chief executive, OSN.

"Both OSN and ABS-CBN focus on quality content, and the addition of four new world-class channels complements our existing Filipino channel line-up, further strengthening OSN's choice and variety proposition for the segment," he added.

The new channels will be available without extra cost to subscribers of OSN's Pinoy packages, which boast over 40 Filipino channels.

TFC carries localised versions of the huge international formats Pilipinas Got Talent, The Voice, and Minute to Win It, while the series Maalaala mo Kaya, Be Careful with My Heart and Apoy Sa Dagat will also be on the new channel roster along with ABS-CBN's flagship news show TV Patrol, and collegiate basketball from UAAP. Cinema One Global, meanwhile, shows Filipino films exclusively from Star Cinema, Regal Entertainment, and Viva Films six months after their theatrical release.

"We are delighted to offer through OSN our four channels to cater to the diverse viewing preferences of Filipinos in the Middle East," said Edgardo Garcia, managing director, ABS-CBN Middle East. "With this partnership with OSN, the leading mainstream pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, ABS-CBN through TFC fortifies its already strong presence in the region built over the past 15 years through its own direct-to-home platform and its carriage partnerships with the major cable operators.