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Thu 16 Jul 2009 01:50 PM

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Showtime says Orbit channels to appear soon

EXCLUSIVE: Pay TV company responds to AB readers, promises new content soon.

Showtime says Orbit channels to appear soon
MERGER DEAL: Showtime subscribers will be able to watch some Orbit channels following merger.

Showtime has promised subscribers still waiting for Orbit programmes that the new content will appear soon on their channel lists.

The pay TV company was responding to queries from Arabian Business readers asking why Orbit channels were still unavailable on Showtime packages following the companies’ recent merger.

After announcing the merger on Sunday, Showtime said its subscribers would be able to watch Orbit channels Super Movies, Super Comedy and America Plus within 24 hours of the deal. The same arrangement was introduced for Orbit customers, with five Showtime channels to be made available to them.

In the days since the deal announcement, Arabian Business has received emails from readers questioning Showtime’s claims that Orbit channels would be almost instantly accessible.

“We have lost BBC Prime and Fox Movies, both good channels. In place, [we have] quite a lot of American series which are not worth watching,” said John Dennis from Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Another reader from Dubai commented on Wednesday that his Showtime package was not carrying any Orbit channels.  

In response to the comments, a Showtime spokesperson told Arabian Business that the channels are, or soon will be, available to subscribers.

Direct-to-home subscribers with satellite dishes need to rescan the channels to find the new content, according to the spokesperson. Details of how to start the scan are on Showtime and Orbit’s websites.

People with Showtime packages through Pay-TV provider e-vision should find the Orbit channels already on their system, with no rescan required.

Meanwhile, Orbit package subscribers with e-vision boxes will in turn now have access to the five Showtime channels, which include Showmovies 1, Showseries and Showcomedy.

Customers receiving Showtime through telecoms provider Du will have access to Orbit channels in “the next few days,” the spokesperson said. “There will be no need for a rescan, but it’s taking Du a little longer to make it happen.”

When asked why BBC Prime was no longer appearing on Showtime packages provided by telecom company Etisalat, the spokesperson said the channel order may have changed.

“It happens where you set up your favourites list and e-vision or the service provider swaps some channels around because they have to put some new ones in, so your favourites aren’t the ones you saved, or you lose them,” he said. “I recommend powering down the box or doing a simple rescan.”

It’s unclear whether Orbit subscribers have had similar problems watching Showtime channels.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

RC 11 years ago

As an Orbit subscriber in Bahrain I simply followed the SMS I received from Orbit, re-scanned my channels and hey bingo could see the Showtime channels as well. Now I'm just waiting to see how much extra I'm going to be charged me for this privilege!

Cletus 11 years ago

I live in Bahrain and to be fair, I received the Orbit channels on my Showtime bouquet in less than 24hrs. My only gripe is that all 3 channels have a very low volume output forcing me to increase my volume levels to almost double to what I would when I watch Showtime. Does any other reader face the same? Are there any solutions to this problem?

Al 11 years ago

Does that mean the Orbit company will move to Dubai and closes its offices in Bahrain?

tony 11 years ago

Cynical me wonders if this is this the reason that Sky News has disappeared from the First Net package? Technical difficulties apparently for over a week now and around the same time this "merger" was coming about. Anyone know anything more about this?

Cletus 11 years ago

I subscribe to Showtime and still get BBC Prime in my bouquet!

andy 11 years ago

In response to Cletus regarding the lower Orbit channel volume, I have been a pay tv subscriber for 5 years with Showtime and partly with Orbit, and this phenomenon has not changed since day 1. Orbit transmitts in lower volumes via their platform and the Arabsat satellite network. This volume discrepancy between Showtime (including ART) and Orbit is annoying to say the least. PS: my Orbit channels were on 24hrs after the announcement, and without scanning my box.

Al 11 years ago

there were no similar comment or response to my Question. It seems you do not wish to answer my question.

GH 11 years ago

I have Showtime, and for some reason the Sky News channel signal quality has gone for a ball of chalk recently. Everything else is hunky dory. I have to resort to watching CNN, which is like switching from caviar to Frosties.