Tag Archives: StarTimes

StarTimes brings satellite to 1,000 villages

Pay TV operator StarTimes has  completed its effort to bring satellite television to 1,000 villages across Nigeria.

David Zhang

The move is part of a bid to ensure local communities and disadvantaged people have access to information.

StarTimes chief operating officer Tunde Aina said the solar-powered project, which comes via a grant from the Chinese government, will be managed and maintained by StarTimes for a period of five years.

“The essence of this project is that we want to grant access to people who are disadvantaged, who otherwise cannot afford to access information.”

StarTimes CEO David Zhang commended the Nigerian and Chinese governments for giving the company the opportunity to embark on the project.

“I wish to applaud the Nigeria Government, respective state governors and officials as well as the Chinese Government for the cooperation, support and guidance that was extended to StarTimes Nigeria being the implementation agency for this project in not only promoting access to digital television across the country but also enhancing people-to-people cultural exchange.

“Over the past year, we have gone across the country into different states working with local leaders and communities to successfully implement this project. We have experienced the different cultural aspects of the country and all we have to report is the warm welcome, cooperation and goodwill we received and the great appreciation by the beneficiaries of this project.

“It is our belief that this project is a true testament of what can be achieved in cooperation between governments and the input of the private sector in promoting the socio-economic and political prosperity of our economies.”

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Nigeria adopts The Voice Kids

Nigeria will become the 40th country to air a local version of talent format The Voice Kids after a deal between local broadcaster Fame TV and distributor Talpa Global.

The UK adaptation of The Voice Kids

Fame TV has licensed both the adult and junior versions of the singing series, which will be produced by prodco UN1TY.

Both formats will air on multiple platforms, including NTA network, Ait, Startimes, Fame TV and Teen Africa TV, ensuring viewers can tune in across free-to-air and pay TV outlets.

The deal marks the first time The Voice Kids will air in Nigeria, while in another first, both shows will be taped in the country. Earlier versions of The Voice were filmed in Johannesburg.

The third season of The Voice is expected to air this spring, followed by the first season of The Voice Kids in fall 2020.

Akin Salami, CEO of UN1TY, said: “These are exciting times at many levels for the creative industry in Nigeria and so, we are thrilled about the partnership opportunity with Talpa to present The Voice and The Voice Kids Nigeria to the world from a truly Nigerian perspective. We are looking forward to the long-term engagement opportunities for all our sponsors and we believe this is the start of even greater things to come.”

Meanwhile, TVP in Poland has secured rights to the entire The Voice franchise, confirming three new seasons of each format: The Voice, The Voice Kids and The Voice Senior. All shows are produced by Rochstar.

Poland becomes the 11th country to air a Senior version, while a 10th season of The Voice will air this fall. A third run of Kids is scheduled for January 2020.

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StarTimes airs Euro 2020 qualifiers

Pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired the rights to air the qualifying matches for next year’s UEFA European Championships football tournament.

Qasim Elegbede

Starting today, Euro 2020 qualifiers will be broadcast on StarTimes World Football channels 244 and 254 and Sport Premium channel 246. They will also be available on the StarTimes app.

StarTimes brands a marketing director Qasim Elegbede said: “The live telecast of these matches reflects the firm’s commitment to provide the best sporting action to its subscribers at a very affordable rate.”

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StarTimes adds Tozali TV

African pay TV firm has added a Hausa- and English-language cultural entertainment channel to its platform.

Tozali TV provides subscribers in Nigeria’s 19 northern states with content that reflects northern Nigeria’s social culture in all forms.

The broadcaster’s MD, Hajiya Maimuna Yahaya Abubakar, said: “We are indeed proud of this moment in history, when we are able to project Arewa’s rich repertoire of cultural entertainment, events, places and its diverse people to the world through StarTimes, Nigeria’s largest digital terrestrial television signal distributor.”

An offshoot of the highly successful Tozali lifestyle magazine, Tozali TV is on channel 183 on StarTimes.

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Zee Magic joins StarTimes, StarSat

French general entertainment channel Zee Magic is airing on digital entertainment platforms StarTimes and Starsat in an effort to bring Bollywood entertainment to a wider African audience.

Viewers can now watch popular series including Gangaa, Mehek and Twist of Fate.

Harish Goyal, CEO of Zee Africa and Asia Pacific, said: “It is an exciting time for Zee Africa. It offers a fantastic platform to reach previously untapped parts of the francophone audience in Africa. We look forward to growing our French-speaking viewership with exceptional entertainment from Zee Magic, enjoyed by audiences across Africa.”

Zee Magic, which reaches French-speaking audiences in countries such as Senegal, Gabon, Mali, Benin and Ivory Coast, is Africa’s first fully French-dubbed channel launched on October 1, 2015.

It can be watched on StarTimes channel 41 and Starsat channel 618.

Zee Magic is also available on Canal+ channel 51, which includes Evasion, Evasion+, Tout Canal Bouquets+ and Parabole Maurice’s Flashy Bouquet channel 144.

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AMC Series relaunches on StarTimes

International pay TV operator StarTimes and UK-based broadcaster African Movie Channel (AMC) have signed a deal that will bring back African Movie Channel Series (AMC Series) to the StarTimes DTT and DTH African platforms.

The agreement marks AMC Series’ return to StarTimes after it was removed last year. As the second premium channel from AMC, it complements the flagship AMC network, which has been on StarTimes DTT and DTH since 2012.

AMC Series is a premium 24-hour African entertainment channel featuring soaps, comedy, drama, Nollywood and African TV programming for the family.

Anona Langa, AMC’s head of productions and channel manager for AMC Series, said: “AMC Series has always satisfied the growing appetite for African TV serial and short content, and with its new look, including the injection of some exciting exclusive content from our very own production hub, AMCOP, we are sure to thrill current viewers.”

In addition, StarTimes subscribers will be offered action series such as Oghenekome, AMC in-house productions like AMC Movie Talk, The Hangout, AMC Music Lounge and Nollywood 360, as well as future programming including sitcoms, comedies and entertainment shows.

Yinka Mayungbo, founding director of AMC, said of the network’s return: “The relaunch of AMC Series on StarTimes comes with a promise to our StarTimes audience that the channel is back to stay. We heard the outcry that ensued following AMC Series’ departure in August last year. We are thoroughly delighted to be back, and this time for good.”

Lily Meng, deputy general manager of StarTimes Media Division, said: “StarTimes welcome all old friends like AMC to create better cooperation together in response to the expectation and requirement from our audiences. As an Africa-oriented media company, we trust that the joint effort put into local content will further facilitate the development of African culture.”

An Africa-wide broadcaster, with its services playing out of the UK and with offices in London and Lagos, AMC operates three 24-hour linear channels, the third being Nolly Africa, all offered on various TV platforms across Africa.

AMC Series is available on StarTimes DTT channel 017, and DTH channel 184.

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StarTimes nets Basketball World Cup rights

Pay TV broadcaster StarTimes has bagged the rights to broadcast the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Kenya.

The tournament, which began at the weekend and concludes on September 15, is being held in China for the first time. Now in its 18th edition, it has been extended to include 32 teams, with Africa being represented by Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.

StarTimes regional marketing director Aldrine Nsubuga said: “We are excited to spice our sports offering further by not only catering for soccer fans but equally extending premium tournaments such as the FIBA World Cup to basketball lovers in Kenya.”

Nigeria is the highest-ranked African team in the tournament. The nation has produced several NBA players, including current Nigeria player Al-Farouq Aminu, who recently signed a three-year, US$29m contract with Orlando Magic after leaving the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Government blasts BBNaija sex content

The Nigerian government has complained about the sexual content of reality show Big Brother Naija and has said it is planning a ‘state-owned’ version of the format with the show’s broadcaster.

Segun Runsewe

The government lodged a complaint with the National Broadcasting Commission over the overt sexual content of the show and has said it and pay TV operator StarTimes will launch a new Big Brother Naija that will be a true reflection of Nigerian culture.

Segun Runsewe, director general of the National Council for Arts and Culture will present a nudity bill to punish sexual acts displayed on Big Brother Naija will be presented by the agency.

Speaking during a visit by the president of the National Council of Women Societies, Gloria Shoda, Runsewe said: “We are going to represent that bill. You can’t fight a battle without a legal framework; we are definitely going to be conscious of that.

“I will take up the issue of Big Brother Naija. I have spoken with officials of the National Broadcasting Commission because what is going on now is terrible. Having love affairs on the screen is not part of our own culture at all.

“Let me use this forum to tell Nigerians that a new Big Brother Naija is on its way and we are working with StarTimes. We are doing a Big Brother Naija that will reflect the true Nigerian culture. We are already working on it. All that will be eaten there will be Nigerian food, the dresses will be Nigerian dresses.”

Although Shoda claimed she had nothing against the show she said: “Having live sex on stage is the thing affecting my sensibility and it is impacting negatively on young children. Does it mean that they can’t abstain from sex for three months?.”

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StarTimes rewards subscribers in promo

Startimes hands over a cheque to winners of its kids’ promo

Pay TV operator StarTimes has awarded 25 subscribers in its weekly children’s promotion money to help with back-to-school shopping when they renew their subscriptions for two months.

Winners in the weekly draws, which began on August 1, included Okoh Linu from Enugu, and Alaba Aliyu, from Abuja, who said she was surprised as she had never picked up a prize in any promotion before.

Public relations manager Kunmi Balogun said: “The promo was still on and 25 more winners will be announced this week. All you need to do as a subscriber is to pay a minimum of two months’ subscription on our Basic, Classic or Super Bouquet to qualify.”

The promo ends on August 31.

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StarTimes scores Euro 2020 rights

Pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired broadcast rights to the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament and its qualifying matches.

The rights have been picked up as part of a wider football deal that also includes the UEFA Nations League 2020/21, European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and international friendlies.

The deal runs from 2019 to 2022 and applies to all countries across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, and on all media platforms.

StarTimes sport director Shi Maochu said: “Euro 2020 will be the number-one football competition next year; it will feature some of the best teams in the world, including both the finalists of the last World Cup, France and Croatia. And to make sure fans get fully ready, we’ll broadcast all European qualifiers, starting from the match day on September 5.

StarTimes already airs several club football competitions, including the UEFA Europa League, France’s Ligue 1, Germany’s Bundesliga and Coppa Italia. It is also FIBA World Cup China 2019’s exclusive broadcaster in sub-Saharan Africa.

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StarTimes ON film contest kicks off

More than 350,000 votes have been cast in StarTimes ON’s quarterly Pan African Online Film Festival (PAOFF).

The StarTimes ON mobile platform allows users to vote for their favourite content, with the aim of rewarding local content production in Nigeria and across Africa.

More than 200 entries have been received from producers and directors in the movie and music industries who are in the running to win a grand prize of $1,500 and an opportunity for a joint movie production deal with StarTimes.

According to StarTimes’ PR manager, Kunmi Balogun: “The current voting stage will last until the end of August, before winners are selected in the three main categories, which are movies, short films and music videos.

“We are quite impressed at the level of participation among producers and are passionate about helping to improve and develop the movie industry in Nigeria.”

In April, StarTimes launched the contest, the first online film festival in Africa, allowing producers to enter their content via StarTimes ON, a free mobile app offering more than 1,000 free Nollywood and Bollywood movies, videos and music and other entertainment content, including live TV.

PAOFF was established to promote local films and culture rather than foreign films.

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Vskit unveils talent show Voice to Fame

Shortform video-sharing platform Vskit is set to launch Voice to Fame, a show aimed at showcasing emerging talent in Africa.

Voice to Fame will see eight contestants compete against celebrities to win a grand prize of N2m.

Produced by Vskit and StarTimes, the 13-episode series will focus on contestants’ vocal and facial expressions as they lip-synch to re-enact dialogue from classic movies, TV shows and plays.

Sean Shu, Vskit Nigeria’s marketing manager, said: “This is an effort to discover young talent with remarkable vocal skills with the potential to be a star, wherever they exist across Africa. We will continue to develop and deploy varied talent-focused initiatives, training programmes and co-branding campaigns that will create superstars out of budding talent.”

The show will start airing on July 28 on TV channels such as Orisun TV, NTA, ST Yoruba, AreaTen TV, ST Dadin Kowa and other Yoruba channels.

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StarTimes offers prizes to subscribers

Pay TV operator StarTimes is launching a one-month promotion giving subscribers the chance to win cash and other prizes.

The draw is aimed at parents of schoolchildren. Throughout August, subscribers who pay for two months of StarTimes’ Basic, Classic or Super packages will be eligible to win prize money of N50,000 as well as other prizes including water bottles and schoolbags.

Public relations manager Kunmi Balogun said: “Our subscribers stand a chance to win the prize money to ease their back-to-school shopping for kids when they renew their subscription for two months from as little as N2,600 from 1st to 31st of August.

“A total of 100 customers will cash away N5m from the promo, and we will be announcing them every week after a raffle draw. Other prizes to be won include 1,000 school bags for children and 2,000 water bottles.”

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MLW, StarTimes enter the ring

Sports media company Major League Wrestling (MLW) is set to air its TV series Major League Wrestling: Fusion on StarTimes across Africa.

Weekly episodes of the flagship hour-long programme are set to start this summer in 10 countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan.

According to MLW’s founder and CEO, Court Bauer: “The African region is extremely important to Major League Wrestling and we are thrilled to begin this partnership with StarTimes to bring MLW to our fans in Africa.”

StarTimes which offers content ranging from movies to music, sports, news and documentaries, has over nine million subscribers worldwide and transmits more than 80 local and international channels.

MLW’s weekly series, featuring high-profile fighters such as Alex Hammerstone, MJF and Mance Warner, already airs in the US, Canada, UK, Israel and Puerto Rico.

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StarTimes trumpets $220m Nigeria spend

China-based StarTimes has invested more than US$220m into Nigeria since launching in the country in 2010, according to the pay TV operator’s MD.

Speaking at the recent Chinese Film Week in Abuja, David Zhang highlighted StarTimes’ achievements in the Nigerian market to date. “So far, we have invested a total of US$220m in Nigeria, developed a network of nearly 3,000 distributors in the country [and accumulated] around four million subscribers,” he said.

“We are actively involved in corporate social responsibility and have paid a total of US$25m in tax, recruited more than 1,000 local staff, 97% of whom are Nigerians, and indirectly employed tens of thousands of people in various fields such as marketing, technology, accounting, logistics and customer services.

“We have made our due contributions to the popularisation of digital TV and economic development in Nigeria.

Noting the company’s investment in sports content, Zhang added: “We keep strengthening our content platform. We have done huge investment on football content. Millions of Nigerian households enjoyed all 64 matches of the World Cup live broadcasts a few months ago through our DTV platform or OTT platform for only N1,300.”

Zhang also said the company’s plan to provide 10,000 African villages with access to digital television was already being implemented in 1,000 locations, translating to 20,000 Nigerian households.

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StarTimes breathes Life into Bollywood net

Pay TV company StarTimes has launched a channel offering content from India’s Bollywood industry.

The addition of StarLife to StarTimes’ line-up was announced at a press conference, where the company’s brand and marketing director, Qasim Elegbede, said: “StarLife will showcase only the best family dramas, blockbuster movies, series, celebrity dance shows and more on Channel 500/550.”

StarTimes content marketing manager Bose Adewara added: “All programmes on StarLife are relatable to practical life in Nigeria and are in the English language, which makes it easy for the Nigerian audience to follow.”

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StarTimes scores Copa America coverage

Football superstar Lionel Messi playing for Argentina

Pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired exclusive sub-Saharan Africa rights to broadcast this summer’s Copa America football tournament.

The competition, which takes place every four years, kicks off in São Paulo on June 14 and concludes with July 7’s final. The teams taking part this year are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Uruguay and Venezuela.

StarTimes Sport director Shi Maochu said: “South America has some of the best teams in the world. We are happy to give our 25 million users the chance to watch [the likes of Lionel] Messi playing with their national teams.

“Apart from Africa, the continent with the craziest football fans is South America. And this year, the tournament will be held in the best football country, Brazil. It will be intense.”

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StarTimes seeks record viewers for AFFC

Pay TV company StarTimes hopes to reach more than 20 million Nigerian viewers with its coverage of September’s African Freestyle Football Championship.

Last year’s tournament attracted eight million viewers, surpassing coverage of a match from Germany’s high-profile Bundesliga football league, according to StarTimes PR manager Kunbi Balogun.

“This year, we should be able to exceed that record to 20 million viewers as the newscast will be broadcast on our channels, and right now we have about 15 million downloads on the apps,” Balogun added.

Noting that engaging in creative freestyle football could have a positive impact on young Nigerians, he added: “Freestyle involves a lot of creativity; this should propel us to do more for those that have engaged in it by bringing them into the limelight.

“We can also harness it as a means of empowerment of our jobless youths and encourage more female participation in the sport.”

The 2019 African Freestyle Football Championship will take place from September 14 to 15 at the Balmoral Convention Centre at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos Island.

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StarTimes cuts prices for new subscribers

African pay TV operator StarTimes has reduced its decoder and antenna prices for new subscribers who sign up before March 31.

The prices have been cut from N10,500 (US$29) to N7,500 for its DTT antenna and from N9,500 to N6,500 for its SD decoder. The HD decoder is now N7,500, and the HD decoder and antenna together cost N8,900.

“StarTimes is the top destination for news coverage during this season. We now have a lot more news channels. We recently added PlusTV Africa to our news channels, while the existing ones, such as TVC, Channels and NTA News 24, remain,” said the company.

“We place great priority on the quality of our content as we continue to evolve, adding more local channels that our subscribers have found engaging and all-round entertaining and irresistible over time.”

Chinese-owned StarTimes has a strong presence in Africa, offering digital terrestrial television and satellite TV services. It also owns a featured content platform, with 440 authorised channels.

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StarTimes launches DTV in Kpaduma

Chinese-owned pay TV platform StarTimes has launched a digital satellite TV service in Kpaduma, an underdeveloped rural community in Abuja.

Lai Mohammed

The move gives the residents of Kpaduma the opportunity to watch programmes on satellite in the town for the first time.

The project was undertaken by StarTimes as part of an effort to provide 1,000 Nigerian villages with access to digital television under an aid programme that came out of the China-Africa summit in 2015.

Each village is to receive a 32-inch TV and two sets of solar-powered projectors, allowing villagers to watch  local and international digital TV shows.

Yusuf Dio, the prince of Kpaduma, said: “”We are very happy to have this [digital television service] in our household. It has brought so much joy and pleasure to my family.”

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, said: “The implementation complements the efforts of the Nigerian government to democratise access to information and entertainment through the digital switchover for television, which has now been rolled out in several states and the federal capital territory.”

Mohammed added that this would strengthen the relationship between China and Nigeria and urged StarTimes to hasten the installation of the TV satellite system in other parts of the country.

StarTimes – in partnership with Nigeria’s public TV company NTA – has made digital TV available to many Nigerians since 2010.

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