OSN acquires Pehla Media & Entertainment ahead of rebrand

Dubai-based pay-TV broadcaster OSN has acquired Pehla Media & Entertainment to increase market presence and widen geographical reach for its brand.

The deal, which was finalized last week for an undisclosed sum, brings 40 South Asian channels to OSN’s existing portfolio including the rights to Asian content such as the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Pehla, now known as OSN Pehla, based in Jebel Ali, will broadcast channels in languages including Hindi, Urdu and Bengali and will be available across OSN’s 24-country footprint in MENA.

It comes after OSN launched Arabic channel Ya Hala in the UK in partnership with Thema, a company that aggregates foreign TV channels for diaspora communities.

David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “Appealing to millions of South Asian expatriates, OSN Pehla now gives us the opportunity to reach out to one of the largest demographics in MENA.”

OSN will also unveil its new look as part of a rebrand launch on September 1.

This includes changes to its logo, which will adopt different colour schemes to represent genres of content available such as movies, news and sports.

One of its channels, OSN Cinema, will be rebranded as OSN Movies Drama, and OSN Premiere will be known as OSN Movies Premiere.

It will be rolled out on Twitter as part of a social media campaign to support the rebrand and boost interactions.

Bethany Bunnell, creative marketing director at OSN, said: “The overall objective was to position OSN as an iconic brand that is relevant to the MENA region – that was one of our key drives.

“We’ve tweaked the OSN logo with the edging. There is also a silver rim around the logo, which makes it more distinct. They are small tweaks but it evolves our brand one step further.”

OSN, offering nearly 140 channels, had 734,000 subscribers last year, of which 29 percent were in the United Arab Emirates, 24 percent in Saudi Arabia and 14 percent in Qatar.