×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Starz Set For Middle East Launch With Starz Play Arabia

Starz Play Arabia marks the first Starz-branded service outside of the U.S.

Starz will launch its previously announced Starz Play Arabia OTT subscription service across 17 territories in the Middle East and North Africa on April 2, beating Netflix to the punch in an area with a population estimated at 370 million and a young, highly wired demographic.

Starz Play Arabia service marks the first Starz-branded service outside of the U.S.

Developed and launched in partnership with Swedish media group Parsifal Entertainment, it will comprise flagship Starz shows like “Spartacus,” “Black Sails,” “Power,” “Survivor’s Remorse,” and “The White Queen,” and also a wide selection of Hollywood movie content, including new releases, kids and family-oriented content and programming from local partners. Starz will offer some of its shows to the Arab world day-and-date with their U.S. outings.

Parsifal Entertainment also worked with HBO to launch its online service in Scandinavia.

The SVOD service will be available on PCs and Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices at launch.

“Taking the Starz brand to these markets with the latest video distribution technology represents an innovative opportunity to grow the Starz business,” enthused Starz CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement.

Starz Play Arabia will debut in 17 countries and territories throughout the region with a particular early marketing emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries where the service is available include Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories and Tunisia.

It will be interesting to watch how Starz Play Arabia fares in the MENA region, which has hundreds of free-to-air channels, some of which air pirated U.S. premium content, and where pay-TV is still struggling. Topper of the operation is Maaz Sheikh, a former exec with MENA pay-TV service OSN.

Sheikh in the statement noted that the service “has a unique opportunity to fill a market need and offer the growing Internet-savvy population of the region the best in TV and movie content, at an affordable price point.”

“We have aggregated a compelling collection of great original programming including Starz original series and movie content from around the world. Our content will be presented in a culturally sensitive way and will be a showcase technologically, with a strong consumer value proposition,” Sheikh added.

More Digital

  • Snap-Derek-Andersen-Lara-Sweet

    Snap Fills Out Senior Ranks With CFO, HR Chief Appointments

    Snap CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel turned in house to fill the company’s CFO and head of human resources positions, completing an overhaul of the Snapchat parent’s executive ranks after a series of departures. The company announced the appointment of Derek Andersen, currently Snap’s VP of finance, as chief financial officer. Andersen will take over [...]

  • Oculus Quest Gets Netflix App, But

    Oculus Quest Will Have Netflix, but Not Plex or HBO

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being. First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the [...]

  • Lester Holt

    Chris Berend Tapped to Oversee NBC News' Digital Efforts

    Chris Berend, an executive who has been overseeing digital video for CNN and helped launch Great Big Story, a streaming-video site aimed at younger audiences, will jump to NBC News to lead its digital efforts. Berend will replace Nick Ascheim, who will move into a new role that is described as “improving digital and product [...]

  • Vogue, Conde Nast Entertainment Make Robert

    Robert Semmer Joins Condé Nast Entertainment & Vogue as Vice President of Video

    Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue have named former Vice and Fader video executive Robert Semmer as their new vice president of video. Semmer will be based in New York and report to Croi McNamara, senior vice president of programming for Condé Nast Entertainment. “Anna and I are thrilled to welcome Robert to our award-winning video [...]

  • CEO of T-Mobile John Legere (L)

    FCC Chairman Backs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger With New Conditions

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a thumbs-up to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26 billion merger, after the companies committed to enhanced 5G buildout commitments and agreed to spin off Sprint’s Boost Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint first announced their plans to merge in April 2018, looking to combine forces to take on industry leaders AT&T and [...]

  • Tyffon Raises $7.8M, Prepares Launch of

    Disney-Backed VR Startup Tyffon Raises $7.8 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Disney-backed immersive media startup Tyffon has raised a new $7.8 million Series A round of funding. The company wants to use the new cash infusion for an international expansion that includes the opening of a Santa Monica, Calif.-based virtual reality (VR) center. “We will also accelerate our IP licensing activities with major Hollywood studios,” Tyffon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content