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Canal+ Takes Stake in Senegal TV Company, Boosts African Presence

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French pay-TV giant Canal+ Group continues to expand in Africa, on Friday taking a stake in leading Senegalese production company Marodi TV.

Marodi TV founder, the Senegalese entrepreneur Serigne Massamba Ndour, will remain the majority owner of the group, which produces popular African series such as Karma, Emprises and Mistress of a Married Man. Marodi TV has a community of some 6 million subscribers on YouTube (generating nearly 3 billion cumulative views) and its series are carried on various local, digital platforms and pan-African channels, including on Canal+’s African service.

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Marodi and Canal+ are currently working to set up an original slate of programming for a Canal+ channel in Pulaar, the language spoken by the Fulani community of Senegal, Guinea and Mali.

“This alliance will enable us to strengthen our production and broadcasting capabilities and export our model across the continent,” Ndour said in a statement.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Marodi and to benefit from their invaluable expertise in developing our content offering,” said Fabrice Faux, director of channels and content at Canal+ International. “[Marodi] benefits from an artistic, technical, linguistic, and climatic environment that is particularly conducive to audiovisual production.”

The investment in the Western African company complements Canal+’s moves in other key African territories. The group is a majority shareholder in Nigerian producers Rok Studios, in Plan A in Ivory Coast and in Zacu Entertainment in Rwanda. In a statement, the French company said Marodi TV would strengthen its presence in Africa, and that the deal “underscores [our] commitment to Africa’s creative economy.”

The Canal+ Group has produced more than 4,000 hours of African content in 10 languages across its 30 African-themed channels.

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