Broadcast News

This week, Sylvain Beletre, Senior Analyst at 'Balancing Act' interviewed Christopher Mason from 'NHU Africa', a commissioning body and production house that has shown that making quality African programs in this genre can pay off.

Q: What is NHU Africa all about?

A: Located in South Africa, the Natural History Unit of Africa (NHU Africa) commissions and produces wildlife and natural history documentaries in Africa for national and international distribution. 

With about 650 delegates this year, Broadcast Film and Music Africa conference took place last week at the Oshwal Centre, located in the Nairobi Central Business District, Kenya on 10-11 July 2012. Dr Ann Overbergh reports on who said what and future trends.

Triple Play (voice Internet and TV services) holds out the prospect of faster household growth for both broadcasters and telcos in Africa. But thus far, legal restrictions on supplying one or more of the different elements have stymied attempts to get it off the ground. However, Eutelsat has pitched itself into this search for the holy grail of growth with its IP Easy product. Senior research analyst Sylvain Béletre talks to Eutelsat’s Gaethan Donlap Kouanga, sales and marketing manager for central Africa and to Jean-François Fremaux, Director of market development at Eutelsat.

There are now several online and mobile music TV platforms that have started in Africa. Some like Iroko Partners started with Nollywood film and went into music, whilst others like Spinlet have started with music and could easily go into TV programming. For broadcasters, these platforms represent another way to get to their audiences and a potential opportunity for new revenue streams. Sylvain Beletre, Senior Research Analyst, Balancing Act talks to the key players.

There are probably four places where African VOD sites will succeed: the diaspora; Nigeria; East Africa and South Africa. Nollywood Love has successfully parked its tent on the Nigerian diaspora space but MeTVAfrica.com is looking for a pan-continental audience from the more bandwidth-friendly South Africa. Russell Southwood talks to Nyasha Mutsekwa, CEO, MeTVAfrica.com about how things are shaping up.

Broadcast, Film and Music Africa, an international event (conference and exhibition) will take place on 10-11 July 2012 at the Oshwal Centre Westlands, Nairobi, in Kenya. An estimated 400 delegates are expected this year including some top audiovisual experts and speakers. The filmmakers’ pavilion provides selected African artists with the opportunity to pitch film projects to leading broadcasters and financiers.

African independent producers have three major challenges: getting known globally, finding the right distribution network and getting some money back.

Established in Cape Town, Film Afrika Worldwide is launching an office in Los Angeles to be headed up by CEO David Wicht. David started out as a writer and director and made Windprints with Sean Bean and John Hurt in 1990, so the move will allow him to focus more on developing original material with American partners. “In addition to facilitating productions shooting in South Africa, we will be developing original material with US partners for filming in South Africa,” says David. Balancing Act looks at the potential impact of this move.
    

Nollywood may be the planet’s third biggest film industry after Hollywood and Bollywood but it is feeling the squeeze. Despite the brio with which it churns out new films, times are hard and the returns are not good. A sign of this pressure is that this week the Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) declared that it would try and stop DStv’s Africa Magic channel from showing Nollywood films before they were released elsewhere. Russell Southwood look at Nollywood’s success has been its own downfall in some ways.