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Canal+, iROKO launch African SVOD

Canal+ Group and African OTT TV operator iROKO have teamed up to launch a new Android-based mobile subscription video-on-demand service for Francophone Africa.

The pair have formed a partnership to invest “several million euros” in the project, which will be launched in a few months exclusively for mobile users.

The offering will be based on Canal+’s catalogue of African and African-focused programming, including Nollywood movies, French-language series and shows and South American telenovelas.

The deal between Canal+ and iROKO builds on an existing partnership between the pair for the distribution of the Nollywood TV channel.

Canal+ and iROKO said the mobile SVOD project will target an extremely promising market of more than 250 million French-speaking Africans across 23 countries where the installed base of smartphones is expected to grow to about 16.5 million by 2020.

“With close to two million African households today receiving Canal+’s pay TV offerings, our ambition is to enlarge our base to include those for whom the smartphone constitutes the sole means of accessing entertainment,”said Jacques du Puy, president, Canal+ Overseas.

“The original and unique approach of iROKO, which integrates popular content with a mobile SVOD platform, is perfectly aligned with our group’s vision concerning entertainment in Francophone Africa. This will also enable us to make the content we produce and conceive specifically for the African market more accessible and visible.”

Jason Njoku, CEO of iROKO added: “Canal+ has offered quality content to Africans for over 20 years; we ourselves provide an unrivalled catalogue of Nollywood content and have been pioneers in video-on-demand in Africa. Together, we will enable millions ofFrancophone African fans of Nollywood and telenovelas unprecedented access to content that has previously not been accessible to them.