Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund-backed KIPCO, which is the majority shareholder in Dubai-based OSN (the former Orbit Showtime Network), says that the pay-TV broadcaster is carrying out its cost-cutting and streamlining operation successfully.
KIPCO, in a statement, says: “[OSN] is now able to deliver its products to 25 countries in the region through ‘OSN Streaming’, its OTT platform, thereby giving the company a larger reach. The streaming application includes Disney+ as of April 2020. Furthermore, OSN continues to have exclusive content rights to seven major Hollywood studios, and work is underway to produce original Arabic content.”
KIPCO admitted that the corona virus is affecting its new sales, and in particular it retail store presence, and consequently would remain cautious as to the overall 2020 forecasts.
Specifically referring to OSN, KIPCO says that its operational turnaround had been achieved. “The streamlining of OSN’s business is being carried out successfully, with content cost rationalised and savings of $120 million against the contractual value in 2019. The pay-TV company also recorded a 28 per cent reduction in general and administrative expenses and staff costs in 2019 compared to the year before. The management team was strengthened in the necessary areas of expertise.”
OSN has significantly trimmed its sports-rights acquisitions, trimmed headcount and closed its ‘Wavo’ streaming service and replacing it with a rebranded OSN offering.