Lebara launch of multi-ethnic OTT service

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 21 June 2015

Migrant community TV service Lebara has unveiled plans to launch a new over the top service for its multi-ethic audience.

The company claims that the its Lebara Play offering will be the only multi-ethnic entertainment service bringing together free and premium, fully licensed content in 13 languages in one place, without long-term commitments. It will offer more than 150 TV channels and 3,000 films from around the world and live and on-demand content in HD/SD quality.

To make good on its promise, Lebara has signed deals with some of the world's biggest content players in Europe, Africa and Asia including Tamil entertainment channels Sun Network, home to Sun TV, KTV and Adithya; African Movie Channel, licensed for the first time outside Africa; Premium pan-African channel, Ebony Life, and leading Nigerian channel, Silverbird; French Nollywood movies channel, Nollywood TV; and Turkish channel ATV Avrupa, alongside Euro D, Eurostar and TV8 International, plus a catalogue of Turkish movies.

Available for streaming on mobile, computer and tablet, or via set-top box on a TV set. Lebara Play will be available in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France by the end of June. The rest of Europe will be launched over the summer and other territories worldwide by the year-end, with an expanding catalogue to include Romanian, Polish, Hindi and other content packages covering 13 languages. A Lebara Play app will available to download for free from Google Play for smartphones or tablets and is coming to the iTunes App Store.

In a subtle note to what is an enduring problem among its areas of interest, the company stressed that all of Lebara Play's content is 100% legal and licensed, which not only produces a consistent and high quality user experience, but also provides a legitimate alternative to counterfeit DVDs and illegal services. Indeed Lebara says this should be seen as sending out a strong anti-piracy message in support of the creative industries.

"Serving the migrant community is at the core of everything we do at Lebara. While the need to call loved ones is never far away, as new locations become home for our customers, different needs such as financial services and entertainment become more important," said Yoganathan Ratheesan, chairman and CEO of Lebara Group. "Lebara Play is an unrivalled service designed for an under-served community; and the launch proves that we're delivering on our plans to disrupt the existing entertainment landscape and diversify our communications business."