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Fox Africa eyes SVOD offer; beIN Media, CBS enter content deal

In this monthly Africa and Middle East video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different African and Middle Eastern markets.


* 21st Century Fox Inc.-owned Fox Networks Group is looking to produce local African content and is also considering the provision of a subscription-video-on-demand service for the region, NexTV News Africa reported Aug. 11. In addition to these plans, an office for Fox Africa is also expected to be opened in South Africa.

* beIN Media Group has gained rights to air CBS Corp.'s series, such as "The Good Fight," "Macgyver," "Bull" and "The Late Late Show," under an agreement with the U.S. media company, Telecompaper reported Aug. 10. The deal also includes first-window rights to a number of new shows from CBS and The CW (US).


* StarTimes Media expressed its commitment to create more job opportunities as part of its goal to further its digital TV offerings in sub-Saharan Africa, Advanced Televison reported Aug. 14. The Chinese digital TV service provider said the company has about 10 million subscribers in the region.

* South African Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo noted that the country targets to migrate analog TVs to digital TVs by December 2018, NexTV News Africa reported Aug. 10. The government has established the Digital Migration Advisory Committee and the industry players have been tasked to provide resources for the migration, which will aid in the making more spectrum available, giving more room for broadband services' improvement.

* Israel's Communications Minister Ayoob Kara expressed plans to shut down the operations of Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network in the country, Rapid TV News reported Aug. 7. While legislation to make this happen is not yet available, the country is anticipated to start by first preventing journalists to work in Israel.

* Iflix's African unit has teamed up with Econet Media Ltd.'s Kwesé to launch in sub-Saharan Africa, NexTV News Africa reported Aug. 2. Iflix Africa plans to provide a mix of Hollywood, Nollywood, regional and local content in the region.

* Saudi Arabian authorities has maintained the ban on beIN Sports despite United Arab Emirates' withdrawal of the block, which began June 5, Rapid TV News reported July 26. However selected operators, such as Etisalat UAE and du, have resumed access to the sports network.

* Alaraby, a TV station that broadcasts shhows to the Arab nations, has moved to a new studio complex in Park Royal, London, which will house about 200 journalists and technicians, Advanced Television reported July 26. The media began airing shows in 2015 from a shared studio.

* Canal Plus Group SA's Canal Plus International rolled out A= Sport, a sports channel for the African market, Digital TV Europe reported July 21. The Vivendi SA unit will air mostly African content, but will also have about 20% of content from the U.S. and the Caribbean.