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Mid East ‘Netflix’ signs Starz deal

Dubai-based VOD platform icflix has scored a major deal with Starz for titles including the upcoming pirate drama Black Sails and BBC period piece The White Queen.

The hybrid SVOD/TVOD platform, which commentators have dubbed as the Middle East’s answer to Netflix, has also acquired the other Starz Original series, Magic City and Spartacus.

The deal with Starz’s digital distribution arm Starz Digital Media gives icflix all episodes of the shows, which its subscribers can access via web-connected devices, plus licensed independent movies.

The news marks a significant deal for privately-owned platform, which has launched with a mix of Hollywood, Bollywood and Arab-originated ‘Jazwood’ content.

For Starz, the deal marks the first time its original content has been made available on-demand to subscribers in the Middle Eastern region. The premium cable channel’s distribution arm will hit MIPCOM in October with Michael Bay-backed Black Sails on offer to the international market for the first time.

icflix has already secured deals with the likes of DHX Media, Turner Broadcasting, Miramax and Mondo TV among others, as DTVE sister-publication TBI has reported.

The service launched in the Middle East and North Africa this summer. Plans to launch the service in Europe and North America are also in development, with trademarks registered in those regions in June.

Tags: Dubai, icflix, Starz, VOD