Canal+ strikes ‘first of kind’ deal with Bboxx to expand Africa reach

Mansoor Hamayun

Pay TV operator Canal+ has signed a deal with African utilities firm Bboxx in a “first of its kind” partnership to expand access to TV content across the continent.

Bboxx is primarily known for its work manufacturing and distributing solar powered systems but it will now launch a bundled offer with the French operator, providing customers with a solar home system and a TV that provides access to more than 100 channels such as A+, France 24 or Trace Africa.

The companies said that the partnership would serve “a common ambition” to provide underserved African households with access to energy and TV content. In particular, the partnership is targeted at rural, peri-urban and urban communities that are living off-grid or without a reliable grid connection. The roll-out will begin in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo.

The deal also marks the first time that Canal+ has adapted its business model to the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) structure used by Bboxx’s Solar Home Systems, in an effort to make the offer more affordable and accessible.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of Bboxx, said: “Our latest partnership with France’s leading pay-TV company Canal+ is an exciting milestone with significant synergies in terms of offering and customer base. It enables us to provide additional value-added services that improve the quality of life for our customers.

“During Covid-19, Bboxx has been experiencing strong demand for energy – an essential need. Alongside this, the pandemic has meant more people are staying at home than ever before, so having access to news and entertainment to stay informed on current affairs while keeping entertained has never been so important.”

David Mignot, CEO Africa at Canal+ said: “We are delighted to partner with an established next generation utility like Bboxx to extend our footprint to new customers , and make television accessible to the greatest number of people by removing the barrier of access to electricity.

“This is another stepping-stone in our strategy to continue expanding our services to customers in Africa, where there is significant demand for both national and international media, information, and entertainment. As we progress, we also hope to strengthen our partnership and expand our work with Bboxx across additional markets in the future.”

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