Fox to launch streaming service with Saudi media group

Fox Networks has reportedly reached a deal with a Saudi government–owned media company to launch a new streaming service in the Middle East.

CNN Business reports that the streaming service, called Fox Plus, is already available to viewers in Southeast Asia and parts of Latin America.

The service will be offered to viewers in 24 countries through Saudi satellite network MBC's Shahid Plus platform, according to the report.

For a fee of $4.99 per month, viewers can purchase access to six categories of English-language entertainment from Fox Plus as well as Arabic content.

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Online video subscriptions are experiencing massive growth in the Middle East, with researchers at IHS Markit estimating they will grow 80-fold between 2013 and 2022.

"Streaming is going to be a major disruptor of consumption of content," said Sanjay Raina, general manager at Fox Networks Group. "It's very important as a content company to have a foot in the door into that world." 

"New services are coming up every day. We have just seen the tip of the iceberg.”

The announcement comes after Fox joined with other media companies in boycotting an investment conference in Riyadh last month over the Saudi royal court’s suspected involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi critic who wrote for The Washington Post and was a U.S. resident.