Watch out, Africa Magic! IrokoTV is launching a linear attack. Heh. Too dramatic?
IROKOtv and StarTimes will be signing an exclusive deal at MIPTV, France, today, for two brand new linear TV channels, IROKO Play and IROKO Plus, on the leading African pay TV platform.
Starting from the 1st of May, 2015, IrokoTV's Two Linear channels: IROKO Play and IROKO Plus will be available on the Startimes Basic and Unique Bouquet. 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 get a choice between two Nollywood channels. IROKO Play, available in the StarTimes Basic Bouquet, which flags a N1, 000 ($5) access cost, will showcase classic Nollywood movies from 2007 onwards, with a brand new exclusive movie added to the schedule each month while IROKO Plus, in the StarTimes Unique Bouquet, which has a monthly service charge of N3, 000 ($15), 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.
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. - Jason Njoku, CEO of IROKO
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.
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. - Michael Dearham, VP of StarTimes
IROKOtv is Africa’s leading distributor of movie content, with a catalog 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.
So when I say "Watch Out, Africa Magic", I wasn't being dramatic.