Starz Play Arabia has launched in conjunction with the Parsifal Entertainment Group in select markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

As part of Starz’ Starz Play International initiative, Starz Play Arabia marks the first time that Starz has extended its flagship brand in a service offering outside of the US. The initiative was first announced at last October’s MIPCOM.

Maaz Sheikh is the lead executive of Starz Play Arabia and serves as its president and COO.

Starz Play Arabia debuts in 17 countries and territories throughout the region with a particular early marketing emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including: Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries where the service is available include: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.

“Starz is very pleased with the launch of the world-class Starz Play Arabia partnership in the Middle East and North Africa. This is the first time a Starz-branded service has been launched outside of the United States,” said Chris Albrecht, Starz CEO.

Peter Ekelund, owner of Parsifal Entertainment Group, commented, “I am very delighted to be partnering with Starz. We have assembled a strong Starz Play Arabia management team with local expertise that is ready to tap into the significant growth potential in these markets.”