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Broadcast News Seasons Greetings 2013

 

Dear readers, contributors and advertisers

2013 has been a mixed bag for the broadcast sector in Africa. The continent’s private broadcasters in most countries seem strangely detached from the coming mayhem to be wrought by the digital transition. It’s something that’s happening to them rather than something they are making happen.

AzamTV sets out to become another pan-continental pay TV challenger starting its home market, Tanzania

Despite the seemingly unassailable position of DStv in the pay TV market in Sub Saharan Africa, challengers keep coming forward to take them on. The latest challenger is AzamTV from Tanzania that has ambitious plans to launch itself across the continent. Sylvain Beletre talked to its CEO Rhys Torrington about what its got planned.


AfricaCast 2013: The truth that dare not speak its name – Africa’s telco operators may not be ready to launch VoD services

In the last issue we highlighted the rumours circulating about the launch of VoD services by two large operators. In the event, both continue to move forward but neither was ready for a public launch. Sylvain Beletre looks at a major operator already doing VoD below the radar and asks: Are African telcos ready to launch VoD in the short term?

AfricaCast 2013: The truth that dare not speak its name – Africa’s telco operators may not be ready to launch VoD services

In the last issue we highlighted the rumours circulating about the launch of VoD services by two large operators. In the event, both continue to move forward but neither was ready for a public launch. Sylvain Beletre looks at a major operator already doing VoD below the radar and asks: Are African telcos ready to launch VoD in the short term?

Thema starts selling an OTT box to deliver Le Bouquet Africain almost anywhere in European Union

Thema TV, distributor and agent for themed and ethnic TV channels worldwide announced the launch « Le Bouquet Africain - La Box TV » in partnership with Alpha Networks.  With strong demand for Le Bouquet Africain in several European markets, Thema has decided to launch an “OTT box” allowing its viewers to receive African TV channels anywhere within the European Union (apart from France) with a simple broadband

Balancing Act launches a new web TV channel – SmartMonkeyTV .com– out to capture the energy at the crossroads between culture and technology

Officially launched this week, SmartMonkeyTV.com will replace Balancing Act’s existing You Tube channel. It will be a hybrid channel with video clip interviews, e-letter and some other surprises from time to time. Below Russell Southwood sketches out why he decided to launch it and how Balancing Act’s existing readers will find it a useful addition to their weekly diet of information about Africa.

(The bracketed items in italics are a selection of videos that illustrate what Smart Monkey TV covers and why you might be interested in it.)

Addressing the training issue for the digital transition in Africa – getting down to the nuts and bolts of what it means for broadcasters

The switchover to digital terrestrial television (DTT, get the latest report update here) in Africa should be completed within just over two years, by 17 June 2015 at the latest, but so far only 8 African countries have made the move. A majority of African TV organisations still run on analogue equipment and have a strong need for digital upgrades and technical skills. Market analyst Sylvain Beletre looks at the broadcasters readiness to make the transition.

East Africa: Wananchi to raise up to US$100 million for TV expansion

Wananchi Group, the owner of East African pay TV operator Zuku TV plans to launch a fresh funding round for US$50 million (€38 million) to US$100 million before the end of the year, according to CEO Richard Bell. Bell provided insights on the move: the extra funds will be used to be present in 15 markets and to boost its content  and service features.

Source: Hannelie Bekker from Wananchi Group and Digitaltveurope 15 Aug 2013

South African Government announces that it will tackle the monopoly on sports rights – Policy due by March 2014

The regulation of TV sports rights has happened in Europe and now looks set to happen in South Africa. Yunus Carrim, the new Minister for Communications has promised action by March 2014. This could be the beginning of a new era that will shake up broadcasting across the continent. Because if there is regulation in South Africa, it will only be a matter of time before it spreads to places like Kenya and Nigeria. Russell Southwood looks at the implications of this shift in regulation.

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