At midday on Monday 22 February SAT-7 launches the Middle East’s first on-demand Christian video streaming service. Available worldwide in multiple languages, the new SAT-7 PLUS platform will enable the ministry to bring the message of the Gospel to a wider audience in the region, including a growing younger demographic who prefer to watch content via mobile devices.
“I am pleased to say that from 22 February, SAT-7 will be the first Christian satellite television ministry to offer an on-demand streaming service and the only broadcaster to offer this in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish,” says Rita El-Mounayer, SAT-7’s CEO.
“This will give our audiences the ability to control their own SAT-7 experience, whenever and whatever device they are on. It will include a video-on-demand service for all of our channels.”
The platform, which functions similarly to popular secular streaming services, such as the BBC iPlayer, will be available on web browsers and as an app for all mobile devices. It will offer access to new programmes added daily and a back catalogue of series from SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 PARS (Persian/Farsi language), SAT-7 TÜRK, SAT-7 KIDS (Arabic language children’s channel), as well as the education and social development stream, SAT-7 ACADEMY. Viewers will also be able to watch the channels live via the platform and to communicate directly with viewer support team staff via messaging.
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“On-demand content is the expectation of so many media users in the region today,” says El-Mounayer. “SAT-7 PLUS makes our programming more available and accessible. “Imagine if one of our Christian viewers in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, or even Afghanistan or Yemen, wants to safely share Jesus with a friend, all they have to do is send them a link to a programme that is culturally sensitive, instantly available, and in their own language.”
In order to reach as many viewers as possible, the platform is available in a variety of bandwidths, including audio-only for the slowest Internet connections. Programmes can also be downloaded to watch offline, so they can be viewed on-the-go or even when Internet is inconsistent. To protect the security of viewers streaming from sensitive locations, no personal information will be required in order to access the content.
While satellite broadcasts remain SAT-7’s primary platform due to the reach of satellite television to all sections of society across the Middle East and North Africa, SAT-7 PLUS is an important investment for the future.
As many as 30 percent of youth in the region already choose to watch television through on-demand streaming. “We are pushing forward to attract Generation Z and beyond, who are more attached to their phones than television,” El-Mounayer says. “SAT-7 PLUS will enable us to bring the hope of Jesus to more people, in more places, in 2021.”
Watch introduction to SAT-7 PLUS
Founded in 1995 and broadcasting since 1996, SAT-7 is run by and for the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa and broadcasts Christian and educational programmes to 25 million viewers in Arabic, Persian and Turkish via its four 24/7 TV channels and digital platforms.