Tag Archives: StarTimes

Manchester United links with StarTimes

L-R: Manchester United stars Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes

English football club Manchester United has partnered with pay TV operator StarTimes to show its MUTV channel across sub-Saharan Africa.

Exclusive MUTV content ranging from academy games, live press conferences, player interviews, award-winning documentaries and news will be distributed in over 30 African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana, through various StarTimes platforms.

Phil Lynch, CEO of media at Man Utd, said: “We are proud to have hundreds of millions of passionate fans in Africa, and this long-term agreement will allow them to get closer to the club through MUTV’s exclusive, round-the-clock content from Old Trafford and the Aon Training Complex.

“MUTV is one of our most important channels for engaging with fans around the world, whether through linear or direct-to-consumer streaming platforms, and we are excited to be significantly increasing its reach through our new partner, StarTimes, in Africa.”

Kristen Miao, sports deputy director at StarTimes, added: “Manchester United is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world. We are delighted to share MUTV with football fans across Africa as part as our commitment to enhancing our subscribers’ experience.”

Chinese-owned StarTimes has 13 million subscribers through its DVB digital TV service and 20 million users of its OTT streaming service throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

tagged in: , , ,

StarTimes, CAF in Total CHAN deal

Digital television operator StarTimes has signed a deal with the Confederation of African Football (CAF)  to broadcast the ongoing Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) from this week until February 7.

Constant Omari

The deal gives StarTimes the right to broadcast all 32 matches of the competition in sub-Saharan Africa with the operating licence issued by CAF.

The collaboration between CAF and StarTimes is the first of its kind between the two, with the ambition of offering African football fans wider access to one of CAF’s most important competitions.

CAF interim president Constant Omari said: “We are delighted with this alliance with StarTimes, an internationally recognised group in the field of football broadcasting, which enhances one of our most beautiful events and brings together more and more of the public. Through this new partnership with a key player, we are expanding the audience of Total CHAN to make it an essential destination for football fans in Africa.”

Lily Meng, general manager of StarTimes media division, added: “StarTimes is committed to promoting African football. This partnership with CAF marks a milestone for us. Working together with CAF to broadcast Total CHAN, StarTimes is now able to bring football fans throughout the continent closer to their favourite teams and players.”

tagged in: , ,

Africa on course for 51m TV subscribers

Pay TV subscriptions in Africa will rise to 51 million in the next five years, according to a report by UK-based analysis firm Digital TV Research.

The report, titled Africa Pay TV Forecasts, predicts that nearly 17 million pay TV subscribers will be added in Africa between 2020 and 2026.

Of the total, Nigeria will account for close to 11 million, with South Africa bringing in nine million.

South Africa-based MultiChoice, which operates sub-Saharan African satellite TV service DStv and smaller pay TV service GOtv, had 15.5 million subscribers across both platforms at the end of 2020.

Simon Murray, Digital TV Research’s principal analyst, expects this figure to rise to 19.7 million by 2026 “with a marked slowdown of satellite TV growth.”

China-based StarTimes and StarSat will experience the most impressive growth, with combined subscriptions in Africa increasing from 10.1 million at the year end to 16.9 million by 2026.

France’s Vivendi, which had 5.4 million subscribers to its Canal + satellite TV platform and EasyTV in Africa by the year end, will see this figure rise to 7.9 million by 2026.

Meanwhile, other pay TV providers in Africa combined will go from three million subscribers at the end of 2020 to 6.3 million by 2026.

tagged in: , , , , , ,

AMC debuts on UK’s Freeview

Africa- and UK-based broadcaster African Movie Channel (AMC) has debuted its flagship channel on the UK’s Freeview television platform.

This launch is via OTT tech company Channelbox on Freeview channel 271 and makes AMC the first Nollywood channel ever to be distributed on the UK’s Freeview platform, according to AMC.

AMC showcases Nollywood movies, along with films from elsewhere in Africa. They include AMC’s own movies from its own production division, AMC Original Productions (AMCOP), and cinema blockbusters for the family.

AMC and sister channel AMC Series are distributed all over sub-Saharan Africa on platforms including StarTimes, StarSat, TopStar, Azam TV, Zuku and Airtel TV. They offer a selection of Africa’s most successful and critically acclaimed movies, TV series, reality productions, talkshows, magazine shows and other shortform content.

Yinka Mayungbo, AMC’s founding director, said: “We launched the first ever Nollywood channel in Europe in 2006. 14 years later, we are back – in time for Lockdown 3! Here’s wishing our audience in Blighty good cheer and a brilliant time watching their favourite Nollywood stars on AMC.”

Tanya Kronfli, business development director at Channelbox, added: “Channelbox has established itself as a unique and innovative OTT platform delivering TV channels from all over the world to UK TV screens using OTT technology. We are beyond excited to be the first TV platform in the UK to host African Movie Channel and deliver premium Nollywood content to UK audiences.”

tagged in: , , , , , , , , ,

Wakaati TV launches on StarTimes

A new digital television station called Wakaati TV has debuted on pan-African pay TV operator StarTimes.

Olurotimi Akingbogun, MD of the channel’s parent company Wakaati Network, said the move is a bid to reposition video entertainment, online streaming and TV production in Nigeria.

During the launch ceremony for the channel in Lagos, Akingbogun said Wakaati TV will showcase Nollywood blockbuster movies across its platforms.

“I have, over the years, monitored the entertainment industry and e-commerce in Nigeria and I have noticed some relapses. And the best way to correct these shortcomings, to me, is just to establish a firm in that direction. Wakaati TV will leverage on the relapses to forge ahead and make unimaginable impacts in the system. We are going to effect positive changes that will soothe people’s minds and reposition the industry in the right perspective,” said Akingbogun.

“We have good content that we will be showcasing on our digital station. I mean unique and remarkable content that will differentiate us totally from the rest,” Akingbogun said.

Wakaati’s public relations head Henry Awachuo said that audiences were often dismayed at the high number of repeats of movies on the cable stations.

“The company is working at developing cutting-edge television programmes, with imaginative and creative ingenuity and innovation, bearing in mind customers’ satisfaction as a measurement of our performance,” Awachuo added.

tagged in: , , ,

African buyers pick up SynProNize dramas

Piya Naam Ka Diya (All for Love) originally aired in Pakistan

Broadcasters in Africa including StarTimes and South Africa’s e.tv have picked up dramas from Dubai-based producer and distributor SynProNize.

Free-to-air channel e.tv licensed romantic drama series Piya Naam Ka Diya (All for Love), while Swaragini (A Tale of Two Sisters) and Gathbandhan (The Odd Couple) went to African pay TV platform StarTimes, and Onua TV in Ghana acquired Cello.

Cello is originally an Arabic production that aired on Middle Eastern network MBC. It follows a cellist and her pianist husband who encounter an unscrupulous businessman and find themselves torn between integrity and their desire for money.

Hasnaa Descuns

Piya Naam Ka Diya follows a simple girl who falls in love with the wrong man and was originally broadcast in July 2019 on Pakistani network Geo Entertainment.

Swaragini is about two half-sisters brought up witnessing the fierce rivalry of their family, while Gathbandhan follows a gangster and a police officer whose lives intertwine. Both shows were originally in Hindi and aired on Indian TV channel Colors.

Hasnaa Descuns, co-founder of SynProNize, said: “SynProNize is expanding further into Africa and these partnerships are indicative of the great relationships that help us build our company reach.”

Joel Hammond, group head of programmes for Onua TV parent company Media General in Ghana, said: “SynProNize is a trusted partner in the region and we look forward to a long and fruitful association. Our audiences are sure to enjoy this superbly produced drama series.”

tagged in: , , , , , , , , ,

StarTimes wins award for DTT innovation

African pay TV operator StarTimes has won the award for most innovative digital terrestrial TV brand at the 2020 Marketing Edge Brands & Advertising Excellence Awards.

The event was organised by Marketing Edge magazine and was geared towards celebrating the best innovative minds and brands in the marketing and communications industry, as well as promoting outstanding brand ideas.

Marketing Edge CEO John Ajayi said: “We have watched and monitored these brands, individuals and agencies very closely in the last few years and can confidently attest to their market leadership, resilience, excellence and above all landmark achievements in their various sectors.

“The nomination and subsequent emergence of StarTimes as Marketing Edge Innovative Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT Brand of the Year was a product of painstaking review and assessment of the digital terrestrial broadcasting sector of the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

“StarTimes has, since inception, been avant garde in its deployment of digital broadcast technology, which has set its offerings far apart from and well ahead of competition. Its innovativeness in service offerings, national coverage and even pocket-friendliness has remained unrivalled, always leaving a yawning gap between itself and its closest competitors.”

StarTimes Nigeria PR manager Lazarus Ibeabuchi said: “This award bears testimony to StarTimes’ innovative efforts in driving growth in the DTT space. It’s on record that StarTimes pioneered digital TV inclusion, bringing access to those that were excluded from enjoying the beauty of pay TV.

“This honour affirms our hard work and we pledge our commitment to continually serve homes with innovative solutions that bring the best of TV entertainment.”

tagged in: , , ,

StarTimes signs FKF broadcast deal

Chinese-owned African pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired the broadcast rights to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) matches.

Nick Mwendwa
The deal with FKF involves broadcast rights for seven years, with StarTimes to air the next season’s Kenyan Premier League, National Super League and national team matches.

The news comes days after FKF officially took over the running of the Kenyan league from the Kenyan Premier League when its term of office expired on September 24.

According to FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the deal is worth US$1.1m per year. He said on Twitter: “StarTimes FKFPL back on TV! 7-year deal, 1.1M dollars a year including national teams’ men and women, NSL 30 matches.”

tagged in: , , ,

TNT, StarTimes close carriage deal

TNT offers Hollywood movies including National Treasure

Chinese-owned African pay TV operator StarTimes is adding WarnerMedia-owned channel TNT to its offering.

TNT will be made available to StarTimes subscribers in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia from September 15.

The channel carries a mix of Hollywood feature films, such as The Transporter, National Treasure, Karate Kid and Free Willy, alongside original productions, including Human Capital.

WarnerMedia has a long-standing relationship with StarTimes in French-speaking Africa, distributing Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, WarnerTV, CNN, TCM Cinéma and Toonami.

tagged in: , ,

Government probes NTA over alleged fraud

Nigeria’s Senate has uncovered an alleged multibillion-naira fraud in the joint venture between the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Chinese satellite pay TV company StarTimes.

Yakubu Ibn Mohammed

The allegation was made by the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning after the NTA’s expenses were scrutinised during discussions about the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

It found that the documents submitted by the director-general of the NTA, Mohammed Yakubu, did not mention the deal with StarTimes and nor did they refer to remitted revenues into the federation account.

The affair came to light when committee chairman Solomon Olamilekan asked why the NTA was blocking StarTimes from being registered with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Yakubu denied the claim, saying: “The Nigerian Television Authority could not have blocked StarTimes from registering with the NBC as it is currently in a joint-venture agreement with the company.”

The NTA entered the JV with StarTimes in 2010 with a 70/30 sharing ratio in favour of the Beijing-based company.

When Yakubu was unable to convince the panel how much the NTA had earned from its venture with StarTimes over the years, it demanded to see records showing what the NTA generates from production, advertising and documentaries.

It also asked that the NTA return with its debt profile containing the names of its debtors, dates, amount incurred and the name of the official that authorised it for publication.

The Senate ordered that all revenue-generating agencies of government should fron now on remit all their earnings into the consolidated revenue funds out of which their cost of collection will be given to them. The panel claimed the arrangement will shore up revenue for the government as well as prevent wastage in the system.

tagged in: , , , ,

StarTimes to broadcast CPL games

Senegal’s Elimane Cissé plays with CPL champions Forge FC

Pay TV operator StarTimes has sealed a distribution deal with MediaPro Canada to take coverage of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) 2020 season, also known as The Island Games, taking place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The digital operator will broadcast 14 matches in primetime slots, namely seven first-round CPL games, the six play-off matches and the grand final on its ST Sports Life channel.

The channel is available on the StarTimes satellite and terrestrial platforms across the region and also on streaming service StarTimes ON, which is available to close to 20 million users across Africa.

Top-flight African players who are taking part in the CPL tournament include Elimane Cissé of Senegal, who started his career with Diambars FC in the domestic Ligue 1, and had call-ups to the Senegalese U21 and senior national teams before signing with Forge FC, the reigning CPL champions.

Also taking part is Valour FC’s Arnold Bouka Moutu, a Congolese national who represented his country in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and in a series of CAF qualifying matches in 2016 and 2017.

They will be joined by Jeannot Esua, voted FC Edmonton’s player of the year in 2019 (Cameroon); Edem Mortosi of FC Edmonton/Ghana; Solomom Kojo Antwi of Valour FC/Ghana; Mohamed Kourouma of Atlético Ottawa/Guinea; Ibrahima Sanoh of HFX Wanderers/Guinea; and Aboubacar Sissoko of HFX Wanderers/Mali.

StarTimes currently holds the rights to the UEFA Nations League, Euro 2020, the UEFA Europa League, Spain’s LaLiga, England’s FA Cup and Community Shield, the Coppa Italia and a range of African competitions, including the Ghana Premier League and the Uganda Premier League.

tagged in: , , ,

StarTimes carries DreamWorks in Africa

DreamWorks animated series All Hail King Julien

NEWS BRIEF: NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUIN) has launched its kids’ and family entertainment channel DreamWorks on pay TV operator StarTimes’ platform in sub-Saharan Africa.

DreamWorks is home to animated series including Dragons: Race to the Edge, All Hail King Julien, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Dinotrux and Noddy Toyland Detective. The channel recently launched on Foxtel in Australia and on First Media in Indonesia.

tagged in: ,

StarTimes adds 15 channels

Pay TV operator StarTimes is increasing its content offering with the addition of 15 channels, comprising a mix of local and international services.

The channels include Toonami, CBeebies, Human Right, Dunamis, Love Nature, Smithsonian, Colors TV, Sky News, Tiwa ‘n’ Tiwa and Filmbox, plus two of the platform’s own nets: ST School Junior and ST School Senior.

StarTimes is also adding two premium sports channels and NBCUniversal-owned animation network DreamWorks, which will join the service in September.

The Chinese-owned company claims to be the only player in the Nigerian market that offers flexible subscription options that fit into the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model.

The addition of the new channels comes as StarTimes increases its monthly subscription rates for its Basic, Classic, Smart and Super packages. Its entry-level Nova package will remain at the same rate.

However, marketing manager Viki Liu said StarTimes’ efforts to make digital TV affordable to all families had led to significant reductions in the cost of pay TV in Nigeria in general, from an average of US$50 per month to US$3-5 per month.

“The pay-as-you-go options are available for all bouquets. Whether a customer subscribes daily, weekly or monthly to a bouquet, he or she will have access to the same channels and services,” said Liu.

“Although the sharp drop in [the value of the] naira has forced the brand to adjust some of its bouquet prices upwards from August 1, subscribers will get more value for what they are paying, without compromising affordability.

Earlier this year, Nigeria’s federal government increased the rate of VAT from 5% to 7.5%, an extra cost that Liu claimed StarTimes was bearing itself instead of passing on to its customers.

tagged in:

StarTimes wins rights to LaLiga

Pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired the broadcasting rights to matches in Spain’s La Liga football division, which will be aired on its platform in Nigeria from next season.

StarTimes’ entry into La Liga aims to redefine the pay TV sector, attract more Nigerians to the league and end the exclusivity clause in live sports content broadcasting rights in Nigeria following the government’s prohibition of exclusivity rights in broadcasting sporting events in the country.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, had directed the National Broadcasting Commission to implement a new regulation mandating broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters.

“This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets,” he said.

Football lovers will be able to watch live Spanish top-tier league matches on the StarTimes platform.

tagged in: , , , , ,

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.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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”

tagged in: ,

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.

tagged in: ,

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.

tagged in: , ,

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.”

tagged in: ,

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.

 

tagged in: