Broadcast News

French organisations have played a key role in supporting both culture and media in Africa in a way that has little parallel amongst other former colonial powers. One of the key organisations is l'Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF for short in French). This week Balancing Act’s Broadcast Analyst Sylvain Beletre spoke to journalist and writer Tidiane Dioh, who heads up its media programme which supports radio and television in francophone Africa.

Q. What were the founding objectives of the OIF?

SatLink Communications is a pioneer in global satellite communications services and one of the 5 key contenders in the African satellite broadcast market. It is known as a leading provider of transmission solutions for Global Content Distribution over Satellite Platforms, Fibre and IP. Today, it is also focused on providing OTT solutions. Balancing Act interviewed its CEO, David Hochner to find out more on his strategy across Africa.

Gary Rathbone is launching a range of new TV sports programmes aimed at African Free To Air broadcasters. SuperSport’s  former Head of Africa he resigned from the position back in June 2012. SuperSport is a South African group of television channels owned by Multichoice and carried on the DStv satellite Platform across Africa.

Both private and state-owned Chinese companies are investing heavily in Africa. Part of this media push into Africa is about winning new friends and influencing the right people. The other part is straightforwardly looking to create new markets for both its technology and content. Sylvain Beletre, Balancing Act’s Broadcast Analyst looks at how the impact of the new Chinese media presence will affect Africa.

While the Panafrican Film and TV Festival of Ouagadougou was a triumph for Senegalese filmmakers - they got both Gold, Bronze and Best actor's awards -  Dakar and Paris-based VOD portal announced some significant deals from the event. Sylvain Beletre talked to Enrico Chiesa, CEO,

African countries will need satellite help to meet the ITU’s 2015 digital switchover deadline.

With only two years left to switch to digital TV, it is highly unlikely that the 2015 ITU Goal will be reached across the continent without the help of satellite broadcast. Sylvain Béletre talked to Aymeric Genty, Sales Director at Eutelsat for France, West and Central Africa who has high expectations on the African broadcast TV market. According to Genty, the technology is ready for any country in Africa to switch to digital TV across its whole territory.


Distribution has always been a real headache for film producers globally but even more so in Africa due to lack of reliable, non-pirate distribution channels. With Fespaco 2013 about to start, VoD is emerging as a serious alternative distribution channel for African producers. Balancing Act’s broadcast analyst
Sylvain Beletre interviewed Marie Lora-Mungai, Founder and CEO, Buni TV and Enrico Chiesa, President of (AFTV) about their plans.

There are a few news agencies out there who keep an eye on the African continent but few of them are 100% focused on just the whole African continent. The recent success of shows that there was a gap in the market for fresh and professional video reports across the region.

In 2012, the Pay TV market became a great deal more competitive but with DStv Multichoice having acquired most of the existing exciting content, the challenge has been for challengers to come up with different content. This week saw one of the challengers (Zuku TV) sell one of the series it has commissioned – Tales from the Bush Larder – to Fox International.

The African satellite broadcast market has always been extremely stable. Until recently, there were few customers (of which DStv was the largest) and few operators. Contracts were long-term and compared to satellite sales in the telecoms and satellite sectors, prices were high and relatively stable. Russell Southwood reports on the changes that might happen in 2013 with new challengers.