Consumers in MENA will continue to use traditional linear TV despite the rise of streaming services, according to the head of Fox Network Group for the Middle East and North Africa (FNG MENA).
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Speaking to Arabian Business following the announcement of streaming service Fox Plus, Sanjay Raina said television networks will ‘reinvent’ themselves and co-exist with on-demand video streaming platforms.
“All traditional networks will reinvent themselves. There is no death visible on the landscape and everyone will coexist. There will be millions of people who will have both. No one will die. Everything is delivering values,” he said.
Last week, FNG MENA announced it will offer Fox Plus on MBC subsidiary Shahid Plus. The three-year agreement will see Shahid add new international content including National Geographic documentaries, Fox Lifestyle shows, Baby TV and global TV series and movies.
Raina said that while the younger generation may prefer online streaming over traditional television, many consumers continue to enjoy the latter.
“A lot of young people are gravitating towards online streaming, but people are rushing to the conclusion that traditional TV is dying. Pay TV may have seen a shift in many markets, but there are also markets where it hasn’t seen a shift. For example, in India, China, the UK and even the US, the cable business is still very strong,” he said.
“The disruption will give rise to people whose preference to consume content is online, but there will still be many who want to go back to linear TV,” he added.
In April, the CEO of Dubai-based streaming service StarzPlay said online streaming services will not replace traditional television.
Maaz Sheikh said some formats will continue to attract consumers to television.
“The behaviour shift is there. Will it completely eliminate traditional television? The answer is ‘no’, in my opinion. There are certain types of content that people still watch on traditional television, such as sports and news, and that will continue to remain on traditional linear television,” he said.
The online subscription video market in the MENA region is expected to increase over 50 percent by 2020.
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