INTERNATIONAL – French pay-TV group Canal+ has acquired African film and television studio ROK, marking the first international acquisition in Nigeria’s film industry, popularly known as Nollywood.
Lagos-based ROK, which announced the deal on Monday, owns a large library of films and animation series in Nigeria and produces movies and TV series for distribution platforms.
Nollywood is one of the world’s biggest film production hubs and Canal+, owned by Vivendi, aims to expand in Africa as stiff competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon has caused the group to lose subscribers in France.
With more Africans buying TVs - and streaming services not widely accessible due to relatively high data costs - the continent is fertile ground for satellite pay-TV companies to provide original content and generate customer loyalty.
“ROK will produce thousands more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for Canal+ Group’s audiences,” ROK said in a statement. It did not say how much Canal+ had paid for the company.