Starz Play signs eXtra as Saudi agent
Rebecca Hawkes
| 21 March 2018

Starz Play subscriptions in Saudi Arabia will soon be available in all 40 retail branches of United Electronics Company (eXtra), the over-the-top (OTT) video provider has announced.

Under the deal eXtra would offer its customers Starz Play subscriptions for six or 12 months, or offer the service as a bundle deal with selected products.

“With MENA’s streaming industry on a dynamic growth, our new strategic partnership with eXtra will further strengthen our position as the leading service provider in the region,” said Maaz Sheikh, CEO and co-founder of Starz Play.

“According to a recent study by IHS Markit, the growth of online video subscriptions is predicted to rise by 64.2% in 2022, with Starz Play holding 24% of the OTT market share. Saudi Arabia boasts the highest percentage of Starz Play sign-ups in MENA, and through this new and exciting partnership, we look forward to being able to service the region even better.”

The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform now offers more than 10,000 hours of Hollywood and Bollywood movies, as well as TV shows released at the same time as in the US. Documentaries, children’s entertainment and Arabic content are also offered in HD or 4K quality. Shows carried include Friends, The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Power, Vikings and Britannia, along with movie franchises Star Wars and Fast And The Furious.

Mohammed Jalal, CEO of the United Electronics Company eXtra said: “We are thrilled to add Starz Play to eXtra’s family of products and services, and highlight the role of the company which extends beyond product offerings to include solutions, services and content as well. It’s no secret that the content sector is witnessing a demand from all segments of the society, which necessitates us to conclude such a strategic agreement with an upcoming new player that is expected to become a leader in the streaming video on-demand service”.

eXtra has retail outlets in 24 cities across Saudi Arabia, along with an online presence. It recently announced annual profits of SAR 140 million. “2017 year resulted in an increase of the company’s market share which exceeded 24% from the year before, despite the decline of the retail market in electronics in Saudi Arabia by more than 10%,” said Jalal.