STARZ Play Arabia Secures $125 Million in Funding


The MENA streaming service STARZ Play has raised a total of $125 million in funding.

New 2017 commitments have come from Starz, State Street Global Advisors and media and technology investment firms SEQ Capital Partners and Delta Partners. The new investment funds will go toward enhancing STARZ Play’s customer experience, acquiring new programming and strengthening its position across the Middle East and North Africa.

Since launching in 2015, STARZ Play has accumulated more than 700,000 paying subscribers.

Maaz Sheikh, the CEO of STARZ Play, commented: “We appreciate the continued support of the strategic investors to the STARZ Play family. In recent months, STARZ Play has introduced several service enhancements, including a download function for offline viewing, expanded telecom partnerships in North Africa, and expanded content partnerships to all major Hollywood studios. At the same time, our ability to offer localized content that caters to the GCC and North Africa market makes us truly unique in the region.”

Chris Albrecht, Starz’s president and CEO, added: “Starz is proud to extend its support through further investment in the STARZ Play service and management team. As the first STARZ-branded service outside of the U.S., the success of STARZ Play in the MENA region highlights the tremendous growth potential we see for on-demand video streaming services in this competitive market. As a result, Starz and our partners SSGA and SEQ Capital Partners continue to evaluate future opportunities to expand the service in new territories outside of the MENA region.”

Anandh Hari, the managing director of SSGA, continued: “As STARZ Play closes in on the milestone paying viewer figure of three-quarters of a million regional viewers, our strategic investment continues to reap dividends. We look forward to prolonged growth across the MENA region.”