NINETNINE has announced it is launching ten premium linear North African channels in the US on Dish Network’s OTT service, Sling TV. This is NINETNINE’s first step into the US content distribution market. The channels, which will be available free to households across the US as part of an AVOD business model, include Nessma TV, Samira TV, Lina TV, 2M Monde, Al Aoula, and many others.
NINETNINE has worked with the programmers to acquire the rights for all the live TV content and to then aggregate and distribute it to Sling TV. Samir Zehani and Adel Hamla, Co-Founders, NINETNINE explain, “It’s our philosophy to provide households in diasporas in Europe and now in the US with the highest quality content. We know exactly what North Africans living abroad want to watch. We’ve already generated pay-TV revenues for some of these TV channels in France via our leading pay-tv service ‘Le Bouquet Maghreb’. The focus now is conquering new territories. Sling TV was absolutely the best fit for our requirements and we are excited for the launch.”
Tarak Ben Ammar, International Film Producer and investor in Nessma TV, adds, “Our partnership with NINETNINE has been paramount in our international expansion. Their expertise in taking our content to new audiences is valuable and now we are glad to explore the opportunities of AVOD with one of the best platforms in the US. We are proud and excited to start Nessma’s live feed on Sling TV.’’
Liz Riemersma, VP International, Sling TV says, “Our mission at DISH and Sling International is to connect our customers to the content they love from home. We already cater to different communities across the Arab diaspora, and are excited to add services that will appeal to expats and immigrants from the Maghreb.”
NINETNINE and Dish Network took the decision to launch the channels free-to-air based on the successful uptake of AVOD services across the US over the past year. A recent Global AVOD Forecasts 2021 report states that the US has both the most developed OTT sector in the world and the most developed advertising market. It also says, “US AVOD revenues will triple between 2020 and 2026 to $31 billion. Rather than lose market share as other countries catch up, the US will grow its share of the global total from 37 percent in 2020 to 47 percent by 2026.”
To meet the demands of this growing audience, Dish Networks, which launched the Sling TV service in 2015, has recently unveiled a new beta app, which includes a powerful personalization engine to make content discovery more intuitive and engaging.