NBCUniversal International Networks and Africa pay TV operator StarTimes have struck a deal to launch the DreamWorks Network, which will feature kids and family-oriented animated content from DreamWorks, in Sub-Saharan Africa, per The Hollywood Reporter. NBC Universal International Networks is a unit of Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
Currently, the DreamWorks Network is available in eight languages in 34 territories across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. The Sub-Saharan African territory includes 46 countries and StarTimes broadcasts in about 30 of them. StarTimes has around 13 million subscribers and 20 million streaming customers. Its goal is “to ensure that every African family can access, afford, watch and share the beauty of digital TV” (StarTimes LinkedIn).
The DreamWorks Channel brings DreamWork’s “beloved movie heroes to the small screen to star in their own TV shows,” entertaining children and families with the familiar faces from the big screen that they love (The Hollywood Reporter). Shows include All Hail King Julien (created by Tom McGrath, Madagascar, and Eric Darnell, Antz), Dragons: Race to the Edge (developed by Linda Teverbaugh, The Drew Carey Show, and Mike Teverbaugh, Better Off Ted), and The Adventures of Puss in Boots (produced by Doug Langdale, The Book of Life). These shows are based on the movies Madagascar (directed by Tom McGrath and Eric Darnell), How to Train Your Dragon (directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBois), and Shrek (directed by Andre Adamson and Vicky Jensen), respectively.
Lily Meng, head of the African pay TV firm’s StarTimes Media division, stressed how important it was for families to have entertainment, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. She said, “We are excited to bring DreamWorks to Africa. This launch demonstrates our continuous commitment to providing premium content to African families. And it comes at a very timely moment, while most kids and parents are staying home” (The Hollywood Reporter).