With the exception of Senegal (and more recently Côte d'Ivoire), not much change has happened in the francophone broadcast sector for so long. But the long delayed transition to digital broadcasting is accelerating the move to more competitive markets. Sylvain Béletre looks at the example of Mali and picks over what the results of an audience survey in Bamako tell us about the new competition fault lines.
In June 2015 the broadcast market will be opened to new players. Abidjan is making a comeback as the business hub for Francophone Africa and looks set to become a very active TV production hub. Russell Southwood spoke to the Sales Manager, BeBlack TV about this Ivorian produced TV channel and its Pan-African ambitions.
DTT services in Africa are only available in urban areas, apart from a few exceptions. Deploying DTT in large rural areas is expensive, time consuming to install and not necessarily profitable. In the short term, the best technical alternative to cover a territory in its entirety and without delay is to use the satellite to relay the DTT signal, writes Sylvain Beletre, Balancing Act's broadcast analyst.
Marie Lora-Mungai (The XYZ Show, Ogas At The Top, Buni.tv) and Tendeka Matatu (Jerusalema, Material, Cold Harbor) have announced that they are tto merge their assets to create Restless Global. Russell Southwood spoke to Marie Lora-Mungai about this new African studio’s plans.
Restless Global will unite Matatu’s and Lora-Mungai’s existing companies Restless Talent Management, Ten10 Films (production and distribution), Buni Media (production, animation & film studios) and Buni.tv (VOD) under one umbrella.
Streamed content in Africa faces two key obstacles: data is expensive and billing is usually overly complicated. African content distributor AfricaXP has partnered with Poland’s Moben International to deliver free TV channels through Wi-Fi hot-spots in South Africa. Russell Southwood spoke to AfricaXP’s CEO Craig Kelly about how this joint approach overcomes the key obstacles.
The TV is the last of the major media devices to be connected to the digital ecosystem. As ever, there’s a battle between proprietary systems (like smart TVs) and more open hardware and software. Russell Southwood looks at the battle to control what goes into your HDMI port. HDMI what? Find out below.
Dear readers, viewers, contributors and advertisers
The shadow hanging over African broadcasting in 2014 is the complete omnishambles of the digital transition in Africa. It has created investment uncertainty and the loss of advertising revenues in the countries where the Government has simply switched off the analogue signal.
MTG bought the Trace Group in early 2014 and both have ambitious plans for growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Russell Southwood spoke to the CEO of the Trace Group and asked him what he has planned for 2015.
One of the stand-out presentations of DISCOP 2014 was Mike Dearham, MD of Startimes’ Media Department, laying out a vision for this Chinese Pay TV company in Africa. DStv may be large and mighty but it certainly seems that Startimes will begin to give them a run for their money in the years ahead.