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Canal+ strengthens African presence with stake in Senegal’s Marodi TV

France’s Canal+ Group has acquired a stake in Senegalese production company Marodi TV, strengthening its presence in Africa.

Fabrice Faux

Under the deal, Marodi TV will continue to be led by its founder and majority shareholder, Senegalese entrepreneur Serigne Massamba Ndour. The company plans to enhance the quality and diversity of its content and expand distribution across the continent and beyond, through synergies with Canal+.

The two firms are developing a slate of content for Canal+’s upcoming Pulaar-language channel, catering to the Fulani community in Senegal, Guinea and Mali.

Established in 2012 with the aim of delivering quality African content across all platforms, Marodi TV has emerged as Senegal’s leading series producer, said Canal+, boasting a catalogue of over 600 hours of content aimed at the African diaspora.

With a YouTube community of six million subscribers, the company’s success is attributed to its digital distribution strategy, airing series on local and pan-African television channels, including Pod & Marichou, Maitresse D’un Homme Marie and Karma.

Canal+ Group and Marodi forged a partnership five years ago to put the prodco’s catalogue on Canal+ Group’s channels and to produce series that had first aired on Wolof-language channel Sunu Yeuf and then a French-language broadcast on the pan-African channel A+.

The move comes soon after noted Nigerian TV producer Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Group, slammed the international streamers and studios for cutting back on African production as the faltering economy meant they refocused their production spend on more established markets like the US and Europe.

But with investments in Rok Studios in Nigeria, Plan A in Ivory Coast and Zacu Entertainment in Rwanda, Canal+ Group said the Marodi deal “reaffirms its commitment to supporting local talent and audiovisual production in Africa.”

Fabrice Faux, director of channels and content at Canal+ International, said: “This investment once again demonstrates Canal+’s enduring commitment to the growth of African creative industries, as well as its enthusiasm and optimism for the creative and media sectors.”

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