Tag Archives: StarTimes

ST launches Discovery nets in French

US media company Discovery has revealed that it will launch two of its channels, Investigation Discovery (ID) and Discovery Science, in French on pay TV operator StarTimes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Amanda Turnbull

Shows that will be aired on ID include Web of Lies, Heart of Darkness, Impact of Murder, Someone You Thought You Knew, Reasonable Doubt, People Magazine Investigates, series of stunts such as Summer Nightmares, Throwback Saturdays and ID documentaries.

On Discovery Science, viewers will be able to watch the most recent launch of SpaceX in the documentary Space Launch: America Returns, which takes audiences on the mission to take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Other shows include an engineering stunt called Incredible Constructions, which follows the construction of the world’s incredible engineering projects, and Animals Stunt, unpacking the mystery behind remarkable and peculiar animal behaviour

Amanda Turnbull, VP and general manager for Discovery in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, said: “We are dedicated to creating the highest quality content that informs, inspires and entertains and we are always looking for ways to expand on our offering, making it accessible to new audience

“With these channels, we will be able to meet the growing demands of French-speaking subscribers across the continent, while further deepening our long-standing relationship with StarTimes.”

Lily Meng, head of StarTimes Media Division, added: “We are pleased to take our partnership with Discovery one step further by making these two amazing channels available to Francophone families across Africa. We remain committed to enriching our bouquets with premium content so our subscribers can enjoy the best TV experience with StarTimes.”

Since its launch in 2008, ID has continued to grow in popularity across global audiences with its highest-ever ratings in EMEA for the first quarter of 2020. Discovery Science, which launched in 1996, has been working with StarTimes since 2015 and the current Discovery StarTimes bouquet includes Real Time, Discovery Family and ID in English.

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StarTimes, MTN partner on movies, sports

African pay TV operator StarTimes has partnered with MTN Nigeria to offer the telco’s customers a range of movies, series and sports.

Tunde Aina

The agreement will give MTN customers access to more than 100 channels and video-on-demand content via the StarTimes ON and MyMTN apps.

StarTimes Nigeria chief operating officer Tunde Aina said: “With the video-streaming bundles on the StarTimes app, MTN subscribers will enjoy unlimited entertainment and video-on-demand services at a cheaper data price than any other network in Nigeria.

“The package comes with 26 live-streaming channels, including all seven sports channels, showing UEFA Europa League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Coppa Italia and more; blockbuster movies, cartoons, news and documentaries”

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StarTimes launches kids’ show

Pay TV operator StarTimes has expanded its kids’ programming with a new show on its ST Kids channel.

Star Kids Gala, a half-hour English-language programme, will premiere on ST Kids today. Its debut follows StarTimes’ recent launch of fellow educational show Homeschooling in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The educational TV programme brought relief to parents whose major headache has been the fear of the educational standard of their wards dropping when offline school is unavailable,” said the company.

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WarnerMedia, StarTimes expand Toonami

US giant WarnerMedia and Chinese-owned African pay TV operator StarTimes have partnered to bring the former’s kids’ channel Toonami to multiple sub-Saharan countries.

Guillaume Coffin

The superhero-focused channel will be available via StarTimes in countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique.

Toonami airs series based on popular comic book characters such as Batman, Superman, and the Justice League, plus popular animated series Teen Titans. It also  carries animated feature films such as Batman: Monster Mayhem and All-Star Superman.

Guillaume Coffin, VP and head of commercial and business development at WarnerMedia-owned Turner France, Africa and Israel, said: “WarnerMedia has an existing relationship with StarTimes in French-speaking African regions, which has allowed us to distribute Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, WarnerTV and CNN, among other franchises. We look forward to creating more platforms within this partnership to widen our footprint on the continent.”

Lily Meng, head of StarTimes’ media division, added: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with WarnerMedia toward Anglophone Africa. StarTimes is committed to providing access to high-quality content to all family members, and especially to kids who in many countries have to stay home right now. Toonami comes at the right time to strengthen our kids’ channel portfolio.”

The launch date for Toonami in the aforementioned countries is yet to be announced.

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StarTimes, AAU link for education

Pay TV operator StarTimes and the Association of African Universities (AAU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase access to higher-education content in Africa.

Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile

Under the terms of the partnership, AAU will make educational videos available for free via StarTimes mobile app StarTimes ON, enabling subscribers their knowledge and skills.

AAU secretary general Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile said: “This partnership with StarTimes comes at a time when access to educational content is in high demand, especially as most educational activities have moved online as a result of Covid-19 and its unprecedented outcomes.

“Through the AAU TV, the AAU, in its capacity as the continental apex higher-education agency, will promote the quality and relevance of higher education, as well as showcase and strengthen the contributions of higher education to the development of the continent. AAU is open to partnering with institutions whose core mandates align with our aspirations.”

StarTimes VP Luis Lu added: “We are honoured to launch this partnership with the AAU. Education is crucial for individuals and communities. Through our TV and OTT platform, StarTimes has a unique way of reaching millions of people in Africa. We are leveraging this platform to expand access to knowledge via AAU partnership.

“Our motive is to air high-quality content made by the best African experts. This is a milestone for StarTimes and a step forward toward ensuring equal access to all levels of education.”

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StarTimes donates 6,000 face masks

StarTimes Nigeria CEO David Zhang (second from right) was present to hand over the masks

The Nigerian arm of Chinese-owned StarTimes Media has donated 6,000 face masks to help the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, who received the donation, said the gesture illustrated the advantages of a public/private partnership.

“StarTimes has proven over time that it is a reliable partner,” Ahmed added.

StarTimes Nigeria CEO David Zhang re-emphasised the importance of the partnership between China and Nigeria, and promised to support the African country in every way possible.


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NTA, StarTimes ready farming reality show

The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and pay TV operator StarTimes are preparing a reality show in which participants will receive agricultural training.

Naija Farmer Reality TV Show is being produced in partnership with the Radio, Television, Theatre & Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) and industry leaders in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD), alongside other federal ministries and agencies, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), the Progressive Governors Forum and the World Bank’s Appeals Project.

In the programme, participants will get training, mentorship and funding, with the aim of creating agricultural business owners – aka ‘agripreneurs.’

Those behind the show, themed ‘Hope4Naija,’ said it would also offer first-class family entertainment and promote African cultural heritage and good moral standards.

Men and women aged between 18 and 35 and with a minimum of an ordinary national diploma can apply via auditions held across the country. A total of 190 people – comprising 80 housemates, 10 non-resident existing farm owners and 100 non-resident trainees – will participate in the show.

Hopefuls can register online or at any branch of BOA, EcoBank or NTA-Star/StarTimes offices nationwide from May 31. To register online, click here.

There will also be guest appearances by music, comedy and Nollywood stars, as well as political and business leaders.

Chigbo Okoli, CEO of the project, said: “The theme of this maiden edition is Hope4Naija, while the second edition will be Joy4Naija, and the project intends to start by spreading a message of hope and returning opportunity back to the streets of Nigeria for the ordinary Nigerian who knows nobody. By the second edition, we shall be celebrating joy in the newfound Nigeria where prosperity thrives.

“A 24-hour dedicated TV channel for the show will soon open on StarTimes.”

RATTWAU national president Kabir Garba-Tsanni added: “All Nigerian youths across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria should embrace this project and take advantage of this opportunity to reclaim the years the locust has eaten and also to recover from the negative effect of Covid-19 on our economy.

“Do not be discouraged by the millions of youths that will be registering for the project, because it is designed to accommodate large numbers. There will be a slight delay for some people, but ultimately everybody who registers will benefit.”

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Dunamis TV lands on StarTimes

Dunamis Television, the official channel from Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja, has been added to StarTimes’ pay TV platform.

David Zhang

Viewers across Africa can now watch religious programmes from Dunamis Television on DTT channel 453 and DTH channel 363.

StarTimes CEO David Zhang said: “With the current restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dunamis TV channel will give StarTimes’ viewers an immersive ‘church at home’ experience with praise and worship sessions, sermons, choir ministrations, prayers and other wholesome family programming from Dr Pastor Paul Enenche, founder of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Abuja.

“As a company, we believe this new offering will enrich the lives of our customers, keeping them better informed with religious programming to cater for the different denominational groups and keeping them connected during these challenging times.”

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StarTimes to show German football

Nuremberg against Bayern Munich in Germany’s Bundesliga (photo: Granada via CC)

Pay TV operator StarTimes will air live matches from German top-flight football division the Bundesliga on its ST World Football and ST Sport Premium channels.

Having been halted in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundesliga is now set to resume this Saturday.

StarTimes sporting director Shi Maochu said: “It has been a tough period for football fans around the world. We are very happy to have StarTimes bring back live football in Africa, and even more as the Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world.

“I can’t wait to watch these great clubs, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, and others play again.”

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of league leaders Bayern Munich, added: “The Bundesliga manages to become the first big league worldwide to restart. With the Bundesliga as the only league to be broadcast on TV, I expect we will have an audience of a billion.”

All matches will be broadcast across StarTimes’ sports channels, live and HD, and on streaming app StarTimes ON, allowing fans to watch live games concurrently on several devices.

A series of strict protective measures will be implemented to avoid the spread of the virus and all games will be played behind closed doors.

The Bundesliga is the first major football league to be back in action after sports around the world were put on hold due to Covid-19.

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StarTimes adds SPI’s TDC, Gametoon

Pay TV operator StarTimes and SPI International have expanded their distribution agreement to make two more channels,  gaming channel Gametoon and Turkish net Timeless Drama Channel (TDC), available to StarTimes subscribers from this month.

Chinese-owned StarTimes, which already carries SPI channels including movie net Filmbox Africa and FashionBox, will broadcast Gametoon in English and TDC in Turkish, while the latter will also have English subtitles.

TDC, which launched in 2019, currently reaches more than five million homes and features popular dramas such as Karadayi, Black Money Love, 20 Minutes, Kurt Seyit & Shura, Moms & Mothers, Red Scarf, Five Brothers, The End and The 8th Day.

Gametoon, created by gaming and eSports enthusiasts, features game reviews, eSports tournaments and exclusive sessions from popular online gamers such as Dan Gheesling, Bifuteki and Lothar.

Georgina Twiss, MD for Western Europe and Africa at SPI International, said: “TDC is one of our fastest growing channels due to a global affinity for Turkish dramas. Providing audiences with a diverse collection of high-quality content is a shared mission with our partner StarTimes, and we can’t wait to introduce the world of TDC to African audiences. Gametoon has also gained huge popularity within the community and I am sure that StarTimes subscribers will enjoy our exclusive content.”

Lily Meng, the head of StarTimes Media Division, added: “We are delighted to bring TDC and Gametoon to our viewers. It demonstrates our consistent commitment to provide access to premium content to our subscribers. They have been huge fans of telenovelas and I am sure they will love TDC’s Turkish dramas. And eSports have been booming in Africa, so Gametoon has great potential in Africa.”

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StarTimes unveils educational TV

Pay TV operator StarTimes has introduced and educational television programme for students and children across Africa amidst the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.

The programme, which will air in various African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Guinea, South Africa and Mozambique, will ensure kids enjoy great educational content that will inspire learning and spark curiosity.

The show is set to air from Monday to Friday at 10.00am on ST Kids, homeschooling children on subjects such as social studies, science, handicrafts, painting and dance.

StarTimes said: “We have been working closely with each country’s authorities and broadcasters to provide local educational solutions to every African family. Education is crucial for every society and television is a unique tool to reach kids wherever they are. At the moment, the world has chosen TV as the main education platform since the shutdown of schools and we have made it a priority to keep children busy at home through various learning programmes.”

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StarTimes creates Islamic pop-up channel

Pay TV operator StarTimes has unveiled an Islamic pop-up channel for Ramadan, named Ibādah TV.

During Ramadan, which lasts until May 23, Muslims abstain from food and drink during daylight hours for a month while concentrating on prayer, charity and reading from the Qur’an.

StarTimes said in a statement: “The channel will provide high-quality content such as Muslim prayer, lectures, documentaries and interviews for Muslim subscribers all over Nigeria, while helping them conduct their fast, fulfilling the need for worship among Muslim audiences.”

Ibādah TV will broadcast for one month and will engage subscribers fully with Islam-centric programmes.

Its programmes will include Usiqaa, featuring the latest Islamic music videos from both within and outside Nigeria; Salat, a call-to-prayer show designed to prompt people to pray five times daily; and a vox pop programme engaging people in discussion on the streets and in mosques and also interviewing Islamic dignitaries.

The channel is available on DTT channel 451 and DTH channel 369.

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StarTimes airs Ricky Kej concert for WHO

Pay TV operator StarTimes is broadcasting online event Ricky Kej LIVE at One Page Spotlight to help support the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Covid-19 response fund.

The concert, marking Earth Day and led by Grammy winner Ricky Kej, will feature about 40 musicians from six countries, including South African flautist Wouter Kellerman; Senegalese singer Baaba Maal; American singers Laura Dickinson and Lonnie Park; Indian instrumentalist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt; and the Mzansi Youth Choir from Soweto.

StarTimes VP Luis Lu said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a challenge globally and as a media group, it is our responsibility to ensure that African families can safely enjoy Earth Day’s celebrations and express their support for international communities in its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, StarTimes has launched a series of video-based initiatives to raise awareness about the pandemic with promotional materials that will further create awareness based on WHO advice.”

The concert airs today at 15.30 on StarTimes’ free-to-air channel ST Guide and streams on its mobile app StarTimes ON.

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StarTimes preps pandemic advice videos

Pay TV operator StarTimes has developed a series of videos to raise public awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic as well as help contain the spread of rumours about the virus.

As part of its social responsibility drive, the company has released 30 short videos produced by its African employees who are working remotely.

The company said in a statement: “As a leading media group based in Africa, it is StarTimes’ role to disseminate accurate and scientific information to fulfil its social requirement.

“Recently, a dedicated TV programme, StarTimes Daily Covid-19 Report, was launched in providing viewers with update and data about the pandemic in Africa and the world every weekday.

“The anti-pandemic knowledge videos further support African people with scientific knowledge to protect themselves with the right behaviours against possible infection. The videos are in accordance with guidance from experienced international professional organisations such as the World Health Organisation.”

The videos will be on the ST Guide and 22 self-operated channels and can be viewed in six different languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hausa and Chinese. It will also be available on the StarTimes ON App and the official Facebook page and YouTube account of StarTimes for better exposure to audiences on diverse platforms.

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StarTimes launches Covid-19 app

Pay TV operator StarTimes has launched a self-assessment app on StarTimes ON to offer African users practical tips on how to protect themselves from Covid-19.

The Covid-19 self-assessment system was co-developed by the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Tsinghua University and the University’s School of Clinical Medicine and was launched in Africa with the support of Chinese digital TV provider StarTimes Group.

The self-assessment service is in multiple languages including Chinese, French, English, Portuguese, and Swahili and it is available in 45 countries.

Its aim is to help the public know more about the virus and their status by answering questions on their health conditions and recent travel history. Users will get an evaluation result indicating the risk level of infection, determine how to seek further care, relieve anxiety and fear and provide health suggestions.

The system has been reviewed and approved by a panel of international experts and has been used on trial by more than 10 million users in 19 countries. People living in sub-Saharan Africa can access it using the StarTimes ON mobile application.

Amy Pang, the general manager of product operation department in StarTimes, said: “As a company operating in Africa, StarTimes hopes to make full use of its own advantages to contribute to the common anti-pandemic war across the continent. We would like to make the most of our media platforms in sharing effective information and methods against the pandemic to benefit African people.”

Users can access the self-assessment service on the front page of StarTimes ON.

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StarTimes streams channels for free

Pay TV operator StarTimes is offering more than 150 local and international channels for free via its StarTimes ON streaming platform.

This move is a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in huge numbers of people around the world staying at home.

The content includes top TV series, local films, educational documentaries and children’s programmes across more than 150 live channels, as well as more than 20,000 hours of library programming on-demand.

Ariel Wang, operations director at StarTimes ON, said: “StarTimes will keep contributing to making people safe during this special time. Thus we opened the free access to channels and further upgraded StarTimes ON coding technology to decrease again the broadband traffic, allowing users to spend even less data and enjoy more content while using our app, and decreasing the pressure on internet and telecom infrastructures.

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StarTimes unveils Afro-Brazilian channel

Pay TV company StarTimes has launched the first ever Afro-Brazilian channel, Nina Novelas.

Aimed at boosting StarTimes’ telenovela offering to subscribers, the new channel will feature family-oriented stories leveraging the cast’s strong African heritage.

Regional marketing director Aldrine Nsubuga said: “Telenovelas have been enjoying constant success among our subscribers. Nina Novelas will therefore complement our similar content genre offering, such as ST Novela E and ST Novela E Plus. Furthermore, Nina Novelas will offer numerous African series, which is consistent with our strategy of promoting local productions.”

The launch means StarTimes subscribers will have access to at least six new episodes of different African and Brazilian telenovelas daily, ranging from teen, family, world, family, classic, action and crime stories, while on weekends they will be able to watch all the episodes broadcast during the week.

Nina Novela will be available on Classic Bouquet (channel 80 on StarTimes terrestrial platform) and Super Bouquet (channel 140 on StarTimes satellite platform).

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StarTimes debuts BabyTV

BabyTV musical series Tutti Frutti

Pay TV company StarTimes has launched a television station dedicated to toddlers and parents on its African platform.

BabyTV, the new 24/7 kids’ TV channel that began airing on StarTimes in March, provides content created by educational experts for children below the age of five in a commercial-free environment.

The educative channel is designed to accompany the family routine and is divided into daytime and night-time broadcasts. It is filled with series of stories, songs, rhymes, games and activities involving loveable characters as well as gentle visuals accompanied by soft and soothing music.

The programmes include Tutti Frutti, a musical series; Rocco, the story of a squirrel’s challenges; Teeny & Tiny; and Beep Beep.

The channel airs on channel 358. Launched in 2003, BabyTV is owned by Fox Networks Group, a subsidiary of Disney.

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Nat Geo, ESPN join StarTimes

Pan-African pay TV broadcaster StarTimes has added six channels to its line-up including National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox and Fox life.

The channels will broadcast in English, French and Portuguese and will be available immediately via StarTimes’ terrestrial and satellite platforms.

Viewers in sub-Saharan Africa have been able to watch ESPN content via the ESPN Player subscription OTT service. Since StarTimes shares the complete rights to Formula E across sub-Saharan Africa with ESPN Africa, fans will now be able to watch the championship on the pay platform.

StarTimes regional marketing director Aldrine Nsubuga said that subscribers will automatically get the channels in their bouquets.

The company has secured exclusive deals to broadcast every remaining race in the current Formula E Championship live on its linear and digital channels.

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StarTimes’ Hello Mr Right crowns winners

Tunde Aina of StarTimes (left) and Nicholas Ugwu of Bedmate Furniture (right) present prizes to Ataene-Spurgeon Hope and Patrick Nonso Igboanugo

Winners have emerged from reality dating show Hello Mr Right, produced by pay TV operator StarTimes and sponsored by furniture company Bedmate.

Ataene-Spurgeon Hope and Patrick Nonso Igboanugo have been crowned the winner and first runner-up respectively and have been awarded prizes worth N2,000,000.

The show, which lasted for 12 weeks and was anchored by Big Brother Naija 2017 contestant Uriel Oputa and comedian Emma, had contestants take part in an impartial and open dating platform where they made pitches and were selected by fellow contestants.

Tunde Aina, chief operating officer at StarTimes Nigeria, said: “This is the first season of the show in Nigeria and it enjoys massive viewership in other African countries, like Kenya and Zambia. We want to assure Nigerians that the success of the first season in Nigeria will motivate us to do more yearly and we hope it gets bigger and better.

“Hello Mr Right tends to bring out the issues affecting us in choosing a life partner and having a wrong idea of the qualities our partner should possess. This show helps project the insights and open discussions for everyone to learn a thing or two.”

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