Starz International Streaming Service Strikes CBS, Showtime Series Licensing Deal

Brownie Harris/CBS
'Under the Dome'

The OTT service launched in April in the Middle East and North Africa takes such hits as 'Ray Donovan' and 'Under the Dome.'

Starz Play, the OTT video streaming service that Starz earlier this year launched in the Middle East and North Africa, has reached a multi-year licensing agreement with CBS Studios International for exclusive digital rights to content from Showtime and CBS in the region.

The companies didn't provide financial details.

Series and box sets will be available to Starz Play subscribers on demand, including seasons one and two of Showtime drama series Ray Donovan, Penny Dreadful and The Affair, along with CBS summer event series Under the Dome, Extant and Zoo. "A number of these titles will premiere on Starz Play shortly after being broadcast in the U.S.," the companies said.

Maaz Sheikh, president of Starz Play, said: "We are delighted to be working with CBS Studios International to bring their premium content to the region with this exclusive deal. This deal meets the rising demand for premium OTT content by the region’s burgeoning young population and recognizes the unique opportunity the Middle East market presents. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership."

"We are excited to partner with Starz Play to bring our world-class programming to the region on this new and growing digital platform," said Armando Nunez, president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group. "This deal is another great example of the growing licensing opportunities available for premium content from CBS in a very dynamic digital marketplace."

Added Khaled Benchouche, Starz Play vp programming: "CBS Studios International was an obvious partner choice for Starz Play; their gripping, edge-of-your-seat series from CBS and Showtime will resonate with our audience who look for quality and originality."

Starz Play launched in April across 17 countries in the Middle East/North Africa region. It provides more than 3,500 hours of movies and TV series anytime, anywhere and on up to five devices for the equivalent of $12.99 per month with a one-month free trial.

Twitter: @georgszalai