CANAL+ GROUP and iROKO are partnering to create and launch the first Francophone SVOD service aimed at bringing affordable, popular mobile TV content to French-speaking Africa.
Announced today as part of a multi-million euro deal, this mobile-first Android App with download functionality is set to launch in the coming months. Designed to optimize data consumption, the service will be aimed at building a new mobile-only subscriber base across Francophone Africa. Canal + group now owns and broadcasts the largest catalogue of African content, including Nollywood films and TV series, African homemade series and shows and South-American TV Novelas, for French-speaking Africa.
CANAL+ GROUP and iROKO have previously worked together through content distribution deals for linear TV channels such as Nollywood TV , and are now consolidating their partnership to launch this standalone Android app.
With over 250 million French-speakers across 23 countries in Africa, and as mobile Internet penetration continues to spread across the continent, the iROKO Android app will cater for a significant growth market, with 165 million smartphones estimated to be in circulation before 2020. Understanding the need for localization, as language is the first step in bringing content closer to viewers, the app will be translated fully into French and all content will be in French.
Jacques du Puy , President of Canal+ Overseas stated, “Now that Canal+ is close to having two million pay TV households in Africa, our ambition is to widen our audience to those whose mobile is the main entertainment device. iROKO’s original approach integrating popular content production and mobile SVOD perfectly matches our group’s entertainment vision in French- Speaking Africa. This will also allow us to make more accessible the contents that we specifically produce and design for the African market’
Jason Njoku CEO of iROKO added, “iROKO has been committed to leading viewers to content they will love and CANAL+ OVERSEAS shares our vision, translated into French. CANAL+ has over 20 years’ experience of delivering content to Francophone Africa, we have an unrivalled Nollywood content catalogue and have pioneered VOD in Africa.
Together, we will be giving the many millions of French-speaking Nollywood and Telenovela fans unprecedented access to content that has previously been inaccessible. We believe truly amazing, yet affordable content is the right balance to strike in Sub Saharan Africa and this deal is testament to that.”
CANAL+ OVERSEAS handles CANAL+ Group’s international pay-TV operations, distributing more than 300 channels worldwide and producing over 30 channels for international markets. The company totals more than 5 million subscribers over four continents.
CANAL+ OVERSEAS is the leading pay-Tv provider in the fast-growing, French-speaking African market, with close to 1.8 million subscribers in more than 30 Central and West African countries. It also operates in Vietnam where it distributes a satellite package of local and international channels, in partnership with the Vietnamese state television. It is also the second largest pay-Tv player in Poland through its satellite platform NC+, which totals more than 2 million subscribers.
CANAL+ OVERSEAS is the leading television company in French overseas territories, with a presence in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific, as well as in Australia. The company has recently expanded in providing broadband and telephone services through its CANALBOX brand in French overseas territories.
CANAL+ Group, is fully-owned by Vivendi, a global media and content production and distribution group.
iROKO is the world’s largest online distributor of African content and Africa’s largest Internet TV operator. Launched in December 2010 as a YouTube channel, NollywoodLove, the company launched a dedicated movie platform. www.irokotv.com on 1 December 2011 after securing Series A funding from US-based Hedge Fund Tiger Global of $3Mn. It has since raised an additional $22Mn from Tiger Global, Kinnevik and RISE Capital. iROKO has offices in Lagos, London, New York and Johannesburg.