Starz Play Arabia Pacts With Fremantle on Premium Shows
Subscription streamer Starz Play Arabia has partnered with Fremantle to exclusively carry its high-end shows “Baghdad Central,” “The Luminaries,” and “Dublin Murders” across 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, as the Starz-branded OTT service continues to ramp up operations in the region. The deal provides Starz Play Arabia with the bulk of Fremantle premium scripted product that is congenial for the region. The partnership was struck as the SVOD market in MENA is getting traction with local revenues expected to triple by 2025. Starz Play Arabia claims it is currently the top SVOD player in MENA, though these projections expect Netflix to overtake it by 2025. Disney Plus is also expected to soon enter the Middle East market. The partnership with Fremantle comes after Starz Play Arabia recently announced they were dipping their toes in production of local originals via a pact with Image Nation Abu Dhabi for an anthology show. The Lionsgate-owned company has ongoing content deals in place with U.S. companies such as NBCUniversal and Warner Bros and Sony. Fremantle’s Anahita Kheder, SVP Middle East, Africa and South-Eastern Europe, noted that the company is committed to making “bold and cutting-edge shows” and “in this sense,” they are “very much aligned” with Starz Play Arabia’s goals, “making them the perfect home for these high-end titles.” Starz Play Arabia was launched in 2015, and its service is now available in 49 countries through various forms of distribution.