OSN officially launches low-cost Saudi Arabian offering El Farq

Following a successful three month trial, pay-TV operator OSN is officially launching its new low-cost, no contract offering aimed at viewers Saudi Arabia.
MENA pay TV, Pay-TV, OSN, Low-cost Pay-TV platform, OSN launches new prices and packages, Saudi Arabia, KIPCO, BeIN, Content piracy, Video on demand, IPSOS

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According to OSN, TV is alive and kicking in Saudi Arabia, with households spending an average of eight hours a day watching TV (source: OSN data study 2018). Watching TV is the Kingdom’s favourite weekend pastime said OSN, citing the “Daily Behavior in KSA” study by IPSOS.

OSN is officially launching ‘El Farq’, the pay-TV provider's lowest priced satellite TV entertainment package so far. At an attractive price point and no annual contract, the pay-TV company is hoping the new packages will boost growth at a time when subscriber numbers are falling.

OSN said the official launch of El Farq, meaning ‘The Difference’ in Arabic, follows an extensive research period and three-month testing phase carried out across the Kingdom, which recorded a positive response from customers and impressive sales growth.

OSN said the study also helped them to identify the factors which make Saudi consumers consider and purchase TV entertainment services. The top priority highlighted by respondents was ease of use (53 per cent), followed by value for money (49 per cent) and latest movies (42 per cent). The research also identified that general entertainment and Arabic series are the most consumed genres.

With El Farq, OSN aims to provide customers access to the leading TV channels from studios such as Fox, HBO and Disney for a single price of SAR159 a month. Customers also get access to El Farq on the pay-TV provider's on-demand platform, OSN Play.

Bandar Al Mashhadi, managing director, Saudi Arabia, OSN, said: “El Farq is about absolute simplicity. It is total value for money, delivered just the way our customers in Saudi Arabia want. We want to make entertainment accessible for everyone, and we are confident that El Farq will further cement OSN’s position in the Saudi market as the leading provider of premium entertainment.”

Steve MacDiarmid, chief commercial officer, OSN, said: “As a customer-first organisation, we carried out research into the entertainment preferences of Saudi families in order to bring this unique package, to customers here. Our research has helped us understand what really matters to customers in KSA, and OSN has brought all of those elements together in ‘El Farq’. Our test phase recorded growth in the subscriber base across all segments, particularly in the 25 to 44 age-group, which makes us confident that, as we roll out El Farq in Saudi Arabia, this product will resonate with customers and exceed their expectations.”

OSN’s owner Kuwait Projects Co last year reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to advise on a possible sale of OSN, in which it owns a 60.5% stake. The pay TV outfit has struggled in competition with Qatar-based BeIN Media, which has scooped up regional sports rights, and both players have faced an additional challenge in the form of the mass-scale piracy of content by BeoutQ, which BeIN Media alleges is supported by the Saudi authorities.

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