Canal+ Group has taken over the production, content distribution and channel assets of iROKO Partners, strengthening a move into the market for Nigeria’s Nollywood and English-language content for the African market.
The deal gives Canal+ control of ROK Studios, a production house that produces over 500 hours of new films and series a year, with a catalogue of over 2,000 hours.
The company is led by Nollywood actor, director and producer Mary Njoku, the wife of iROKO Partners chief Jason Njoku.
Canal+ is also taking over iROKO Partners’ distribution business, covering the distribution of proprietary and third-party titles globally, and four channels under the ROK brand and distributed in Anglophone Africa as well as in the UK via Sky.
iROKO Partners will keep on developing its SVOD offering, iROKO+, distributed by Canal+ on a non-exclusive basis. iROKO Ltd will have full control of the streaming platform, which was previously a joint venture with the French pay TV group.
Canal+ recently stated, “This acquisition represents a key stage in Canal + group’s international expansion. It allows the group to be present across the entire Nollywood value chain, and acquire unique expertise in the mass production of African fiction — films, series, and entertainment.”
Hence, acquiring ROK will generate more hours of Nollywood content for Canal+ Group’s audience in France and signifies a battle between media powerhouses such as Netflix and China’s StarTimes.
Njoku concluded by saying that the acquisition is a sign that Nigeria’s movie industry is doing well in producing quality content for the continent.