Tag Archives: StarTimes

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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StarTimes acquires rights to Formula E

Pay TV broadcaster StarTimes has secured broadcast rights to the rest of the 2019/20 Formula E all-electric motorsport series season in 37 territories across sub-Saharan Africa.

The deal will cover major markets including Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania while the Formula E coverage will be available on the network’s flagship linear channel StarTimes Sports Premium, as well as its OTT streaming product, StarTimes ON.

Shi Maochi, StarTimes’ sports director, said: “Electric cars are the future of motorsport, and I think Formula E has a great potential in Africa as it combines new technologies and intense competition.”

Hugo Lavell, head of media and distribution at Formula E, added: “As we enter a new year of electric racing, it’s fantastic to be able to announce our expanded reach with races being aired live across Africa on StarTimes.”

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StarTimes wins FA Cup rights

Pay TV broadcaster StarTimes has acquired the rights to air English football tournament the FA Cup in sub-Saharan Africa from now until 2021.

Replacing fellow pay outfit SuperSport as the home of the FA Cup in the territory, StarTimes will show the competition in various languages across its eight sports channels and via its ON streaming service.

StarTimes sport director Shi Maochu said: “This is a significant step for StarTimes. The Emirates FA Cup and the FA Community Shield are among the most competitive national football events and we are really happy to offer them to our subscribers this season.

“We have been building a very solid offer in terms of football for 2020, with national competitions such as Coppa Italia and Bundesliga, as well as European events like the Europa League and Euro 2020.”

The broadcaster’s coverage begins with the third round of the FA Cup, which starts tomorrow.

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Blue Ant sends Smithsonian to Africa

Big Cat Country: part of Love Nature’s Africa offering

US cablenet Smithsonian Channel and natural history broadcaster Love Nature are set for an African launch following a deal between Beijing-based pay TV operator StarTimes and Canada’s Blue Ant Media (BAM).

The licensing deal is part of BAM’s ongoing expansion in Africa and will see both channels broadcast throughout a number of Sub-Saharan territories via StarTimes’ platforms.

Upon its launch, Love Nature will include titles such as Big Cat Country (6×60’), Dogs with Extraordinary Jobs (5×60’), Great Blue Wild (4×60’) and Monkey Island (3×60’).

Smithsonian will feature series including Apollo’s Moon Shot (6×60’), First Ladies Revealed (4×60’) and stand-alone doc Asian Tsunami: The Deadliest Wave (1×60’) on its initial slate.

Both channels will be launching via StarTimes in HD, and viewers will have access to Smithsonian in English and Love Nature in English and Portuguese.

Ward Platt, CEO of global networks and kids at Blue Ant Media, said: “These new licensing deals significantly grow Blue Ant Media’s footprint across Africa. Bringing the channels to new platforms allows us to share our broad portfolio of stunning natural history and factual programming with more viewers in Africa.”

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StarTimes brings satellite to rural Kenyans

StarTimes’ Access to Satellite TV completion ceremony

Chinese pay TV firm StarTimes’ digital project Access to Satellite TV has benefitted more than 1,600 Kenyan households in 47 countries.

The initiative was aimed at helping rural African families access information about the world and improve agriculture and knowledge about science and sanitation, thereby reducing poverty.

During the official completion ceremony, Hesbon Mwalei, Kenya’s ICT director, said the Kenyan government was committed to fully exploiting opportunities offered by digital broadcasting to enable young people to unleash their talents through creative arts.

He said: “The noble initiative enabled households and institutions that had been left out without access to television after the digital migration process to now benefit from digital television.

“The availability of a balanced mix of local and international channels through this project will increase access to information, which will go a long way to bridge the urban/rural digital divide.”

China’s ambassador to Kenya, Wu Peng, added that the implementation of the project was an important part of the China-Africa Cultural Exchange Cooperation Program.

StarTimes Group, a multi-national media company and content provider working in the African broadcasting industry, was tasked with rolling out the programme.

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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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