Starz Play bags key deal with Etisalat in MENA


Starz Play engaged on a five-year deal seeing its video-on-demand (VOD) service bundled on Etisalat platforms while both companies develop their technology and content collaborations.

Etisalat’s E-Vision subsidiary already carries Starz Play’s subscription VOD offer on its IPTV and mobile platforms. Starz Play’s CEO Maaz Sheik said this agreement takes the partnership with Etisalat “to a higher level”.

The CEO said, “In the five year period we will have our core product bundled for all of Etisalat’s eLife fixed broadband subscribers and also for certain of their mobile customers. Plus we will also collaborate on content, licensing Arabic content for Starz Play from E-Vision.” He added, “Platform and technology collaboration is also involved, and the partnership covers not only the UAE but the whole Etisalat operating group.”

E-Vision customers can already watch Starz Play’s latest western dramas including Britannia, Vikings and Nightfall, released in MENA at the ‘time-and-date’ of their US or UK debut, along with “evergreens” like Friends and Grey’s Anatomy. Flash, Supergirl and Homeland are also strong performers for the SVOD service. And, through a tie-up between Starz Play and YuppFlix last year, subtitled Bollywood blockbusters are also proving “phenomenally attractive” to Arabs as well as the Indian diaspora in the region, said Sheikh.