IROKOtv has inked a deal with StarTimes to distribute its two brand new linear TV channels, IROKO Play and IROKO Plus to over 14 countries in Africa with an expected reach of 4.6 million subscribers.
The first for the OTT platform, the move is taking advantage of digital migration which is driving the Pay TV sector estimated to be worth $5.35 billion by 2020, a 69% increase from 2013.
In a statement to TechMoran, Jason Njoku, CEO of IROKO said, “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”.
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 while 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.
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. 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.”
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 is seen as another best way for the firm to reach more viewers in Africa. Some of the IROKO Plus movies will include blockbusters such as Alvina, Nkuli, Could This Be Love and Mother’s Error while classics, including Desperate To Survive, The Beast and Classic Love will show on IROKO Play.
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