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.
* The National Basketball Association has launched the NBA Africa channel on Google LLC's YouTube, Rapid TV News reported March 21. The YouTube channel will livestream two games per week until the end of the 2018-19 season. Alphabet Inc. owns Google.
* BeIN Media Group LLC is adding channels FOX Life, FOX Rewayat and FOX Crime under an expanded distribution agreement with Fox Networks Group Inc., according to a March 2 news release. Walt Disney Co.'s 21st Century Fox Inc. owns Fox Networks Group.
* Econet Media Ltd.'s Kwesé Free TV is launching five free-to-air channels in South Africa after it received licenses for free-to-air broadcasting and radio frequency spectrum, Digital TV Europe reported March 22. Prior to the approval of licenses Kwesé had only been servicing 18 countries in Africa, excluding South Africa.
* OSN is setting up a Binge Channel for all the previous seasons of "Game of Thrones" beginning April 1, Rapid TV News reported March 19. The Middle Eastern pay TV operator will be airing five episodes per night.
* The MBC Group has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast the FIA Formula One World Championship on a free-to-air channel, Rapid TV News reported March 16. The matches will be aired in the MENA region through MBC until 2023.
* BeIN Media on March 12 said that it plans to file a lawsuit against the Asian Football Confederation for breaching a broadcasting agreement with the sports network. The move follows the AFC's announcement that it will offer free live streaming of its matches in Saudi Arabia through the confederation's own digital channels despite having an exclusive agreement with beIN Media.
* MultiChoice Zambia will increase its subscription fees by about 10% beginning April 1 due to local inflation, Advanced Television reported March 8. The monthly fee boost will cover all DStv bundles.
* Qatari satellite operator Es'hailSat's Es'hail 2 satellite, which will allow for the provision of broadband and telecommunication services, has begun its commercial service, Digital TV Europe reported March 7. The company plans to target broadcasting, telco and internet service companies, as well as governments, in the Middle East and north Africa.
* TV news network RT is launching the RT France HD channel to French speakers in the MENA region through a partnership with Yahlive, a joint venture between SES SA and United Arab Emirates-based Yahsat, according to a March 7 news release. The agreement to distribute the channel on Yahlive spans three years.
* South Africa pay TV operator Multichoice Group Ltd. listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Feb. 27, Naspers Ltd. announced the same day. MultiChoice South Africa and subscription video-on-demand platform ShowMax are part of the now-public company.
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