Nigerian video on demand (VoD) company iROKOtv has signed an exclusive deal with StarTimes to launch two new linear TV channels – iROKO Play and iROKO Plus – on the African pay TV platform.
The two Nollywood channels will be available across 14 countries with a reach of 4.6 million subscribers, with iROKO Play showcasing classic Nollywood movies from 2007 onwards, and iROKO Plus showing premium Nollywood movies from 2011 onwards.
As part of a 24/7 programming schedule, both channels will also show behind the scenes interviews with the stars and magazine shows.
StarTimes said the announcement of the deal signalled a considerable investment in Nollywood entertainment.
“The deal with iROKO is a significant advance in our quest to become the home of premier African film and television content,” said Michael Dearham, vice president (VP) of StarTimes.
“Throughout the global African diaspora, iROKO is synonymous with high-quality, cutting-edge Nollywood filmed entertainment and their extensive catalogue of prime-time Nollywood movies resonates well with StarTimes’ vision to provide every African family access to high-quality digital entertainment.”
Dearham said the exclusive partnership would allow StarTimes to nurture an “axis of content excellence”, clearly differentiating its value proposition and giving it the means to deliver the very best Nollywood movies and series to its subscriber base.
Jason Njoku, chief executive officer (CEO) of iROKO, said launching iROKO Play and iROKO Plus on StarTimes was an exciting milestone for the company.
“We’re known primarily for leading OTT content delivery across Africa through iROKOtv.com, but with digital migration spreading rapidly throughout the continent, now is the right time for us to diversify our distribution model and expand into the linear TV market,” he said.
“StarTimes are very much focused on bringing the very best entertainment to as many people as possible at an affordable price an ethos that is close to our hearts, which is why this new landmark partnership is so befitting.”