Exclusive: StarzPlay CEO shares unscripted strategy as MENA streamer orders football talent show

MENA streamer StarzPlay has commissioned The Italian Dream, a new sports-focused reality series, in partnership with Italian football league Lega Serie A, as it continues to push into unscripted originals. The six-part show, which is being launched in partnership with healthcare platform PureHealth and media and entertainment studio Image Nation Abu Dhabi, will go in […]

Arabic SVOD subs to hit 28 million by 2029, says report

The number of SVOD subscriptions across 13 Arabic countries will rise to reach 28 million by 2029, according to new report by Digital TV Research. This is a 13 million rise on the current 15 million in 2023, with Netflix still expected to lead the market, said the report. Local players are however predicted to […]

Exclusive: StarzPlay CEO Maaz Sheikh on fuelling growth with hyper-local drama & sports

Maaz Sheikh, CEO and co-founder of StarzPlay, tells Mark Layton why hyper-local drama and sports coverage are paving the road to success for the MENA regional player. It’s been a good few months for MENA streamer StarzPlay, which recorded a 70% boost in viewership and 50% hike in sign-ups during Ramadan, over the previous year, […]

Starzplay hires Intigral’s Tony Saab for original production & acquisitions

Dubai-based Starzplay has appointed Tony Saab as SVP of content and strategic partnerships. He will take responsibility for developing and implementing content acquisition and original production strategies to boost the MENA streamer’s library of original content and shows. The role covers all aspects of content acquisition, programming, and production for genres including movies, series, documentaries, […]

TBI Tech & Analysis: How Starzplay’s originals strategy plays to younger audience ambition

Spending on local Arabic series is growing and demand is increasing from streamers and consumers alike. Omdia’s Daoud Jackson explores the potential of this increasingly lucrative market by focusing on the operations of key regional operator StarzPlay. Investment in local Arabic content is crucial for OTT media in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). […]

TBI’s 2023 Predictions: Maaz Sheikh, CEO & co-founder, StarzPlay

As the new year gets underway, TBI talks to some of the biggest names in the global TV industry to get their thoughts on the major trends and best shows coming up in the next 12 months. Here, Maaz Sheikh, CEO and co-founder of Dubai-based StarzPlay, talks a scripted expansion, a streaming short-form shift and […]

Starzplay Pakistan strikes Espresso deal for factual expansion

Starzplay in Pakistan has struck a factual content deal with Espresso Media International for more than 100 titles to help launch a new dedicated documentary section on the streamer. The 150-hour package covers genres ranging from crime and environmental stories to sports and social issues documentaries, with titles including Big Sonia (1 x 52-minute), exploring […]

Starzplay strikes Espresso deal to stock streamer’s new documentary strand

Middle East-based streamer Starzplay has picked up 100 titles from Espresso Media International for its service in Pakistan, which has recently launched a new documentary section. The shows encompass a range of topics and genres, from crime and environmental stories to sports and social issues docs, and total 150 hours in total. Programming included ranges […]

Exclusive: Starzplay CEO talks spend & strategy as MENA streamer pushes into originals

Dubai-based Starzplay is on the lookout for Arabic scripted shows skewing towards a younger adult demographic as it pushes into original content. Starzplay co-founder and CEO Maaz Sheikh said that that the MENA streamer is particularly looking to appeal to the “17 to 35-year-old segment”, speaking to TBI at the Media & Entertainment Leaders Summit […]

Lionsgate+ pulled from swathes of Europe & Japan as questions loom over originals

US media firm Lionsgate is pulling its streaming service Lionsgate+ (fka Starzplay International) out of numerous European countries including France, Spain and the Nordics, prompting questions around the company’s local originals strategy in the region. The US mini-major, which reported Q2 revenues of $875m and an operating loss of $1.75bn, said the Gaslit streamer would […]

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