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Global OTT players offer African content producers new distribution opportunities in Europe and the USA

A recently announced deal between Lebara Play and various African producers for OTT rights in Europe illustrates how VoD will allow content owners new channels to diaspora markets. But this is not the first of these kinds of deals as Russell Southwood outlines.

Lebara Play is the VoD channel run by discount international minutes provider Lebara. Since the people who buy discount minutes to ring home are diaspora communities, it has an existing connection to them.

DTT in Africa and meeting the ITU deadline: have governments kept their promises?

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) agreement signed on 16 June 2006, 54 African states pledged to turn off the analog TV signal before June 17, 2015, with some exceptions. Sylvain Béletre, analyst Balancing Act, co-author of a study on DTT in Africa, reports on the segment's latest developments.

DISCOP in Abidjan – A successful francophone TV market looks set to take off


This week DISCOP was in Abidjan for a francophone Africa TV market event. There was a feeling that francophones were missing out at the annual Johannesburg DISCOP event in November. So DISCOP’s founder Patrick Zuchowicki decided to do an event in Abidjan and put the whole thing together in an eye wateringly short amount of time. Russell Southwood and Sylvain Béletre went to see what was happening.

Inaugural MAAMAs: Reporting on Disasters, Crises and Political Conflict in Africa

The Inaugural Mohamed Amin Africa Media Awards (MAAMAs) have been a mixture of topical lectures and nitty-gritty professional development workshops aimed at news providers from across the continent. Russell Southwood was one of the judges for the awards and was at the three-day event this week in Nairobi.

The MAAMAs were put on by Africa24 Media and stand as a tribute to the lasting influence of founder Salim Amin’s father, the famous news cameraman Mohamed Amin. The MAAMAs are the awards part of the event and the winners are listed by category at the end of this story.

Highest demand ever for satellite broadcast services in Africa, says Eutelsat’s Christoph Limmer

Picture above: Christoph Limmer, Vice President, Global Sales and Commercial Development, for broadcast services at Eutelsat.


Eutelsat has been pretty active in providing satellite capacity to African countries, both on the telecoms and broadcast segments. As Africa rather belatedly accelerates the transition to digital TV, Eutelsat has made quite a few announcements showing that the operator is consolidating its position as the key player in that field.

Kid’s learning platform Hopster targets larger African markets in its global launch

Balancing Act has recorded over Africa-related 100 VoD platforms to date. New, more niche services will soon be added to this competitive segment. One of these newcomers is Hopster TV and application platform - set up on iOS, and soon on Android - which will launch across the African continent, particularly in Anglophone Africa. Balancing Act's analyst Sylvain Béletre talked to Hopster's founder and director, Nick Walters who was at MIPTV 2015.

Mali stands at the threshold of a new more competitive broadcasting sector – Survey results show new competition fault lines


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.

Abidjan to become Francophone TV production Hot Spot as market opens up – BeBlack TV wants to raise profile of African artists

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.

Africable announces first hybrid DTT-DTH platform in West Africa

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.

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