IROKOtv and StarTimes will be signing an exclusive deal at MIPTV, France, on Monday, for two brand new linear TV channels, IROKO Play and IROKO Plus, on the leading African pay TV platform. Available across 14 countries, with a reach of 4.6 million subscribers, the announcement of this deal signals a considerable investment in Nollywood entertainment for StarTimes, Africa’s fastest growing Pay TV operator.
Subscribers will have the choice of two Nollywood channels. IROKO Play, available in the StarTimes Basic Bouquet, will showcase classic Nollywood movies from 2007 onwards, with a brand new exclusive movie added to the schedule each month. IROKO Plus, in the StarTimes Unique Bouquet, will show premium Nollywood movies from 2011 onwards, with the addition of an exclusive brand new movie each week. As part of the 24/7 programming schedule, and in addition to the movies, both channels will also show behind the scenes interviews with the stars and magazine shows.
Jason Njoku, CEO of IROKO says: “Launching IROKO Play and IROKO Plus on Startimes is an exciting milestone for IROKO. We’re known primarily for leading OTT content delivery across Africa through IROKOtv.com, but with digital migration spreading rapidly throughout the continent, now is the right time for us to diversify our distribution model and expand into the Linear TV market. StarTimes are very much focused on bringing the very best entertainment to as many people as possible at an affordable price an ethos that is close to our hearts, which is why this new landmark partnership is so befitting”.
Michael Dearham, VP of StarTimes says: “The deal with IROKO is a significant advance in our quest to become the home of premier African film and television content. Throughout the global African Diaspora, IROKO is synonymous with high-quality, cutting-edge Nollywood filmed entertainment and their extensive catalogue of prime-time Nollywood movies resonates well with StarTimes’ vision to provide every African family access to high-quality digital entertainment. Our exclusive partnership with IROKO allows us to nurture an ‘axis of content excellence’, as well as more clearly differentiate our value proposition which in turn gives us the means to deliver the very best Nollywood movies and series to our subscriber-base.”
Blockbusters including Alvina, Nkuli, Could This Be Love and Mother’s Error are scheduled for the launch of IROKO Plus, and classics, including Desperate To Survive, The Beast and Classic Love will show on IROKO Play.
IROKOtv is Africa’s leading distributor of movie content, with a catalogue of over 4,000 titles totaling 10,000 hours. To date, IROKO has streamed content via its online platform irokotv.com only, but with the migration from analog to digital broadcasting currently being undertaken across Africa, DTT platforms such as Startimes are now increasing the number of channels available in their entertainment bouquets. Digital migration is driving Pay TV growth up considerably, with the sector estimated to be worth $5.35 billion by 2020, a 69% increase from 2013.
Notes to editors:
IROKO Play and IROKO Plus will launch on Startimes on 1 May 2015 and will be available on the Classic and Unique Bouquet
IROKOtv is the world’s largest online distributor of African entertainment, with a content catalogue of 4,000+ totaling 10,000 hours. Launched in 2010 as a YouTube channel, IROKOtv is now a dedicated SVOD Nollywood movie platform, watched in 178 countries around the world.
The company is VC-backed by Tiger Global, Kinnevik and RISE Capital and has raised $25Mn and has offices in Lagos, New York, Johannesburg and Kigali.
StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 80% of the continent’s population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors. StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 320 authorized channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programs, fashion, religion etc. The company’s vision is “To enable every African family to afford and enjoy digital TV” StarTimes achieves this by combining satellite and terrestrial DTV systems to provide an open and secure digital wireless platform. The company provides a robust signal transmission service for public and private broadcasters, that offers consumers outstanding pay-TV programs, mobile multimedia and wireless Internet connectivity.