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Starz Play Arabia Adds 700,000 Subscribers

11 Jul, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Starz Play Arabia, Starz’s first international expansion of its standalone subscription over-the-top video service, has generated 700,000 subs since launching in the Middle East in 2015.

Starz, which is owned by Lionsgate, has also raised $125 million in venture funding from regional and international investors. The funds will go toward enhancing the service, acquiring new programming, and marketing.

Upgrades include a download function for offline viewing, expanded telecom partnerships in North Africa, and expanded content partnerships with all major Hollywood studios.

“At the same time, our ability to offer localized content that caters to [19 countries across the Middle East and the] North Africa market makes us truly unique in the region,” CEO Maaz Sheikh said in a statement.

In May, Starz Play reported a total of 95 million viewing sessions across the MENA region, making it the 11th-most-visited website in Saudi Arabia and 25th in the United Arab Emigrates, according to SimilarWeb May 2017 data. The app had been downloaded on more than 1.6 million devices.

At present, the service offers Starz series “Power,” “Taboo,” “Vikings,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead” and Showtime’s “Billions,” as well as The CW’s “The Flash,” AMC Networks’ “The Walking Dead” and USA Networks’ “Mr. Robot.” Classic sitcoms such as “Friends” are also available. The platform features English, Arabic and French audio options and user interfaces, plus one-click Arabic subtitling.

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