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OSN to exclusively premiere new films and series from Warners Bros. and Max Originals

May 28, 20243 Mins Read

Barbie, Dune: Part Two and other blockbusters will soon be available first on OSN platforms, courtesy of a new content deal between the streaming service and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Under the arrangement, OSN has the exclusive regional rights to all new content from Max Originals and first premiere rights to Warner Bros. Pictures in what has been described as an “exclusive multi-year deal.”

All new Warner Bros. Pictures, including Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and Wonka, will premiere exclusively on OSN following their theatrical releases. More films from the production company’s back catalogue will also be made available online.

MAX Originals, the name for exclusive content produced by Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming service MAX – not available in Mena – will also make its way to OSN with acclaimed series such as the drama Station Eleven, comedy Our Flag Means Death and the DC comic book-inspired Peacemaker. Other Max Originals reportedly in the pipeline are spin-off series from blockbuster film Dune, including Dune: Prophecy, as well as a potential Harry Potter series.

Under an existing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, OSN also continues to be the exclusive home to content from broadcaster HBO, which means acclaimed series such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Succession will remain on the platform, as well as the upcoming second series of House of the Dragon.

The move marks a significant change in the region’s streaming landscape, as Qatari broadcaster BeIN previously held these rights since 2016.

Speaking to The National, OSN group chief executive Joe Kawkabani revealed that the deal took nearly six months to complete.

“These kinds of deals are very rare because not everyone can have access for many reasons,” he said. “One of the biggest is that these content deals very rarely move hands and if they do there are bidding wars.”

While the prestige of the programme was a major factor in the acquisition, Kawkabani said the new deal is part of OSN’s larger content strategy.

“Being able to see blockbuster movies is a core proposition for most people, but where broadcasters and platforms differentiate themselves is by adding other things appealing to their audience,” he added.

“This deal we have right now fulfils our core audience, who want quality content, but at the same time it strengthens our content proposition in that it builds upon our already existing content from children’s programmes to regional dramas. Not everybody wants to watch the same thing but they all know where they can find the best and latest content.”

The move also comes on the back of April’s completed merger between parent company OSN Group and music streamer Anghami to create one of the Middle East’s largest streaming platforms. At present, Anghami and OSN are subscribed to separately.

Kawkabani is open to offering Anghami customers previous seasons or previews of upcoming OSN content to gain new audiences, and he said the newly-bolstered company is already reaping the benefits of the partnership behind the scenes.

“It’s one engine with millions of subscribers that sit on it,” he added. “Now that we are one platform, we know a lot about our subscribers, what they like and don’t like and we can learn from that. Now we know better how to target and curate when it comes to our audience.”

Updated: May 28, 2024, 4:01 AM

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