Canal +, one of France’s leading entertainment and media companies, recently strengthened its position in Africa Film Market with it’s acquisition of ROK. The acquisition is coming shortly after the first French Nigerian Cinema Days held. The two-day event centred on building cinematic collaborations between France and Nigeria. Although, it is uncertain if the event played a part in the acquisition, one thing is however clear, Nollywood is attracting more international audience.
Canal+ is home to some of Nollywood movies already.
It has a dedicated Nollywood channel that caters to its audience in French-speaking countries. Owned by Vivendi, one of France’s leading entertainment and media companies, the deal according to the company will strengthen its position in the African movie market.
“This acquisition represents a key stage in Canal+ Group’s international expansion. It allows the group to be present across the entire Nollywood value chain and acquire unique expertise in the mass production of African fiction, films, series and entertainment,” a statement from the company reads.
ROK is one of the major film studios in Nigeria. Launched in 2013 by producer and actor Mary Remmy Njoku, it is the country’s largest production house with over 500 movies and 25 television programmes and currently produce Ghanaian and Nigerian films which reaches more than 15 million subscribers across DSTV and GOTV platforms.
The deal is a milestone for the studio as it is the first of its kind in the industry.
Confirming the acquisition in a statement, Njoku revealed that the studio will produce thousands more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for Canal+ Group’s audiences.
“Canal+ wanted an organisation that could supply their studio with Nollywood content. They have some channels in Francophone Africa and wanted a supply of African content for those channels.”
Though the two companies did not disclose how much Canal+ paid video on-demand company Iroko TV — who previously owned ROK and will continue to distribute ROK content via its subscription video on-demand app — it however disclosed that Njoku will still retain her position as the General Director of the studio’s productions. The deal will now have to go through the European Commission for approval.