Issue no 72 28 January 2010

top story

  • The latest national survey from market research company Synovate shows that Internet use in Kenya is beginning to eat into the time devoted to television viewing, particularly in the key 18-24 demographic. The number of Kenyan Internet users continues to grow and this growth is coming from both urban and rural areas. Russell Southwood looks at the latest evidence of change in the media landscape in this bellwether country.

    On average, the Internet users in the sample spent 1.1 hours daily online on average on a daily basis: this compares to just 1.6 hours on average spent daily watching television. By contrast, the Internet users in the sample spent 7.2 hours daily on average daily listening to the radio.

    It is not too difficult to see that even with a relatively small Internet user base (estimated on the basis of the sample findings to be 3.5 million out a total population of 38.7 million) that this new activity will eat away at television watching hours. There are only so many hours in the day of leisure time and it really is a zero sum game. Although newspapers were not listed in the report’s summary in terms of hours spent, they probably will also be losers.

    Amongst the results are two things that stand out in relation to television use. 20% are already using the Internet for news and current affairs. It’s not clear from the results whether they also watch news and current affairs on television. BBC, CNN and The Nation are the most used news sites. However, this trend may be the beginning of the end for predominance of news and current affairs in audience terms. Interestingly, 15% of the sample watch TV on the Internet.

    The five top uses of the Internet range between 40-50% of the sample users and were in descending order: entertainment; games and music; social networking and instant messaging; e-mails; general surfing; and job search. The pattern is very close to existing mobile usage (with the exception of job search) if you take SMS as the equivalent of e-mails.

    When the Internet users in the sample were asked what they would do if the Internet was faster, 21% said they would increase the duration of surfing the net. In other words, nearly a quarter of the existing sample will spend more time doing it. The same percentage said they would download games, music, videos and software. Furthermore, 28% said they would use video entertainment (like downloads and YouTube) and streamed content. All of these things will require time to use and this is likely to be time spent not watching television. However, these things can all be used whilst listening to the radio.

    The total sample for this random survey was 1,500 people, with 500 of those in a boost sample from across the major districts of Kenya. Therefore the coverage is nationally representative of adults 15 and above and has a sampling margin of error of + or – 3%. It makes comparisons with a similar survey it carried out in 2007.

    On the basis of this sample, Synovate estimates that there are now 3.5 million Internet users in Kenya. However, daily Internet use has grown from 2% of the respondents in 2007 to 5% in 2009 and weekly use from 5% to 12% over the same period. The daily use figure is the crucial one as it shows users who are finding that that they cannot do without Internet services.

    If the weekly Internet use is broken down on an urban vs rural basis, urban use grew from 22% of respondents in 2007 to 30% in 2009. Rural use grew from 4% to 9% over the same period. These results confirm a lot of anecdotal evidence that has been reaching us about young people using the Government’s new Internet centres and cyber cafes in rural areas.

    The lower income groups recorded a much more fast paced growth in internet access. However Internet penetration within middle class and below is still very low, making it the group with the highest growth potential. And following the expected drop in Internet costs LSM 4-10s should provide the highest growth in usage. At least half the non-users across all social categories said they would be interested in using the Internet if they had access.

    In terms of age, 50% of the respondents using Internet were aged 15-34 with 21% in the 18-24 age bracket. The upcoming generation of Kenyans will be regular users of the Internet and it will form as much part of their lives as mobile phones. Over 56% of the Internet using respondents were college or University educated. Therefore those countries with better education levels in Africa will show markedly higher Internet penetration levels.

    What’s the lesson for broadcasters faced with the rise of the Internet in their own backyard? Internet users are reaching out to get higher quality and more varied content. To keep viewers (particularly 18-24 year olds) viewing, African television broadcasters will have to produce more compelling and entertaining programming. For younger viewers, this will probably need to be themed channel programming that reflects their interests. Local programming will also help hold viewers’ eyes to the screen. Broadcasters also need to make the Internet part of the interactivity with programmes as much as they do with mobiles.

    Some relief might be gained by television broadcasters from the fact that only 9% of the Internet users in the sample would specifically look out for ads while online. But the sting in the tail is that the 18-24 year olds were much more likely to do so.


  • Nigeria’s Flykite Productions has launched a new youth programme series called According to the producers it is intended to introduce a serious approach to youth programming with a view to stimulating intellectual discourse while at the same time including innovative entertainment appeal for young people. The programme more than ever attempts to creatively entertain the youths as well as correct widespread impression that programme intended for young people must necessarily be musical videos.

    With such segments as We Think (a vox pop sampling opinion of young people) on topical issues to be discussed on Chat Zone (the discourse segment); Young Enterpreneur (interview segment with young successful business people); 360 Degrees segment presents a pot pourri of interesting events, fashion updates, young celebrities, etc.

    Other segments on include Little Things which focuses on drawing our attention to those seemingly innocuous habits but which impact negatively on the society; Fast Facts is intended to educate the viewers about subjects, places, events and people while the viewers should expect some reward on the Bulls Eye segment where the first five people to provide answer to question asked on each edition of the programme have the opportunity of winning exciting prizes. is currently showing on Channels television (DSTV Channel 134) on Mondays at 19.30 hours (7.30pm local time) and on Lagos television LTV (DSTV Channel 129) on Fridays at 21.30 hours (9.30pm local time).

    This Day

  • Every aspiring actor dreams of his big break, his chance to shine, to find that perfect role. Imagine that lead to becoming South Africa’s next leading man. Class Act, an initiative brought to life by Amstel Lager, will offer South African acting hopefuls the opportunity to attain their dream of becoming the country’s hottest new acting talent.

    The first reality show of its kind in South Africa and a South African originated format created by Donovan Marsh, Class Act will prove to be the toughest film audition the country has ever seen.

    “Class Act is a platform we’re creating to bring to life what Amstel Lager stands for - passion and commitment leading to its own inevitable reward – success (and in our case a truly great beer). So, with passion and commitment dreams can come true. Class Act is about creating opportunities for all South Africans to showcase their passion and commitment and reach heights previously undreamed of,” says Jan-Willem van Wensem, Marketing Manager of Amstel Lager.

    “This first Class Act is about creating opportunities in film, the chance to be a movie star, a leading man! We’re looking for the guy that has all the passion and commitment to survive the toughest audition ever, a man of distinction who will win the opportunity to be a real star!” he added.

    Following grueling auditions in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg over the next few weeks, ten amateur actors will be chosen from thousands of hopefuls. With talent, charisma, confidence and presence they will be put through their paces in a 13-episode reality show that will air on SABC 1 from March 13th 2010.

    Every week the actors will perform in beautifully directed and produced movie moments, and the audience at home will vote for their favourite performance, their Class Act.

    Ultimately only two actors will be left standing and audiences will be treated to a grand finale that will keep them on the edge of their seats. The winner will go home with an MLA talent agency representation contract, 8 weeks in the USA at the New York Film Academy learning from the best in showbiz and the lead role in an Amstel TV commercial.

    On the casting couch for Class Act, the high profile judges will include SA’s leading actors’ agent Moonyeenn Lee of MLA, Rapulana Seiphemo - well known film and television actor seen in Jerusalema and Generations - and Tendeka Matatu, well-known producer and director. Sitting in the ‘director’s’ chair will be Tim Greene, a highly respected and accomplished and award-winning South African film director, in addition, each week will see a celebrity judge joining the casting couch. Kenneth Nkosi, who has acted in high profile movies such as Tsotsi and more recently, White Wedding, will be presenting the weekly show to television audiences.

    “Class Act will be a shot in the arm for South Africa’s film industry. With the show, we aim to re-ignite and reinvigorate the industry and demonstrate that we have great local talent,” says Donovan Marsh, the show creator.

    Over the coming weeks, audiences will have the opportunity to vote via SMS for their favourite Class Act and also stand the chance win fabulous weekly prizes like home theatre systems. A grand prize will be awarded to one lucky voter at the end of the show series.

    “SABC1 is a popular television channel that promotes and supports South African culture and interests. Through the Class Act project we are offering our audience another platform to showcase their natural creative talents and thereby realize their dreams. We are also extremely excited that Class Act is a South African format, born and bred. It’s great to see local content come to the fore like this,” says Leo Amane, General Manager SABC 1.

  • With the recent furore around the low 2009 matric pass rate in South Africa, it’s comforting to hear that SABC1 is to broadcast a new daily educational show targeted specifically at matric students.

    Promising to make learning fun for Grade 12s, Matrics Uploaded is a one-hour interactive and entertaining multi media distance education show that is supported by print worksheets, DVD lessons, web and mobile learning resources.

    Matrics Uploaded is committed to providing curriculum focused and skills based learning for matrics, with a full course of multimedia lessons across seven core subjects; mathematics, physical science, English, business studies, accounting, maths literacy and life sciences.

    The show is hosted by hip young presenters Amanda Manku and Nonhlanhla Ntuli, supported by a teacher presenter, post matric tutors and will include learner participation and studio guests. The Matrics Uploaded Facebook fan page will consist of extracts from the show, previews of upcoming shows, comments, emotions and experiences.

    Simon Molaudzi, General Manager at SABC Education says: “Matrics Uploaded integrates core curriculum content into an entertaining game show for Grade 12s where a TV teacher teaches a lesson on an element of the curriculum and then quiz questions are based on the lesson.

    “The show [broadcast at 2pm, Mondays to Fridays] runs until the end of the year and will have downloadable content available to assist educators in preparing lessons. It will also have study material intended for pupils. All of these will be available on 

    “SABC Education wants Matrics Uploaded to be the daily source of information and the central shared hub for experiences around Matric 2010.”

    Screen Africa Fri, 22nd Jan 2010

  • FIFA rights restrictions, which are at the centre of a major row between the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) and the Zurich-based organisation, include prohibition on newspapers to do video packages for their websites. Newspapers will also not publish pictures on to their mobile platforms, but simply push in text.

    SANEF member Raymond Louw told that FIFA's restrictions are meant to protect its rights, brand name, profit-making and status of the games, and the rights of sponsoring companies, including broadcasters' exclusive rights. However, he said: "This cannot be done at the expense of journalists and publications and broadcasters, which forfeit their rights [to impart information]."

    Another journalist said: "To sacrifice a nation's press freedom in the name of commercial interests is nothing but a dictator's mentality which consists of putting his or her own interests at the expense of the information-hungry majority."

    Both journalists spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation. Since the beginning of the saga, many journalists have been silent, scared that FIFA will deny them accreditation if they were to speak out against these restrictions. FIFA warned all news organisations against bringing it into disrepute, and this simply means engaging into a conduct that 'negatively affects the public standing of the Local Organising Committee or FIFA'.

    FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer ignored's repeated requests for comment and did not reply to Bizcommunity emails, and several messages left on her answering machine were also ignored by the time of going to press.

  • * BBC Worldwide Channels has renewed a partnership deal with Volvo Car South Africa to launch the new Volvo C70. The agreement includes a variety of on-air elements, such as a brand commercial, a competition promo and a series of 15” tactical spots appearing across BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle channels. The spots will run from 1 February  until 1 March 2010 and will air during peak viewing times across the channels to create maximum awareness for the Volvo C70.

    *Ten finalists for the grand finale, Face of Africa finals planned for Lagos, Nigeria on February 6. The winner of the model Search final will take home 50, 000 US dollar cash prize and a modelling contract with Oluchi's O Model Africa.

    *Two films acquired by South African company Videovision Entertainment have received nine nominations for the upcoming Orange BAFTA Film Awards in February. Lone Scherfig’s acclaimed An Education received eight nominations and The Road, one. An Education was released in South Africa on 29 January. Its nominations are:  Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Director – Lone Scherfig, Best Actress – Carey Mulligan, Best Supporting Actor – Alfred Molina, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Best Make Up & Hair, as well as the Rising Star Award for Carey Mulligan.

    * Heart 104.9FM has announced that Diggy Bongz will be taking over the reins of the 3pm - 6pm Afternoon Drive Show, starting 1 February 2010, supported by traffic anchor Marguerita Freeks and Paul Snodgrass on sports news.

    *Skin, the true story of Sandra Laing, the black woman born to white Afrikaner parents during South Africa’s apartheid regime, was the number one film at the local Cinema Nouveau art house circuit on its first weekend of release (22 -24 January), earning R194,151. As at 28 January, Skin had made R288,000.

    * On 27 January, M-Net’s long running, award-winning investigative magazine show Carte Blanche handed over equipment to the value of nearly R1.7m to the King Edward VII Hospital in Durban. This forms part of the The Carte Blanche Make A Difference Campaign, established to celebrate the show’s 20th Birthday. The campaign focuses on raising the standard of medical facilities in South Africa through partnerships with corporates. It has so far raised approximately R67m towards improving healthcare at state hospitals in South Africa.

    *Nigerian Breweries Plc, organisers of the annual Star Quest show has promised that the winner of this year's edition will have a higher package than previous winners of the show.


  • The FIFA 2010 World Cup will represent the biggest broadcast in the 23-year history of SuperSport. Announcing its broadcast plans this week, SuperSport revealed that it will have at least four customised World Cup channels, one of which will be High Definition (HD), with three of them broadcasting 24 hours daily. In addition, there will be four unique daily magazine shows – Chase the Makarapa; Woza Lunchtime; Supernova and Harambee.

    “FIFA has promised that this will be the most extensive, most technologically advanced broadcast in World Cup history,” said Tex Teixeira, head of production for SuperSport. “This is the closest the television viewer will be to the World Cup. Picture clarity, the number of cameras, replays, graphics and super-slomos will be better than ever before.”

    As with all World Cup broadcasters, SuperSport will receive the live feed from HBS, Swiss-based host broadcaster of the tournament. Whereas matches in the 2006 World Cup used 26 TV cameras, this will be bumped up to 29 per match, with three more to be used for selected matches. These include, for the first time, an aerial camera and an ultra motion camera that produces between 300 and 1000 frames per second in HD, allowing for the capture of 20-40 times more frames compared to a standard camera, and can provide stunning images of action and emotion.

    SuperSport will have full rights to FIFA’s content library, which will offer 100+ hours of daily content. FIFA’s unfettered access to all 32 teams means that much behind-the-scenes action, restricted to other media, will be broadcast on SuperSport.

    The crews will travel throughout South Africa to shoot and gather footage from every team.

    To complement its coverage, SuperSport has also commissioned a multi-purpose High Definition studio set; again, the biggest in its history and in keeping with the World Cup’s status.

    SuperSport has a number of big-name hosts lined up, among them England’s John Barnes and Daniel Amokachi of Nigeria, with more stars to be announced.

    Regular anchors Robert Marawa, Thomas Mlambo, Neil Andrews, Gary Bailey and Thomas Kwenaite will be joined by Charles Anazodo of Nigeria. The four magazine shows will be hosted by Elana Afrika, Bobby Skinstad, Michelle McLean and Nonhle Thema, among others. All matches will offer at least three language options, including English, Portuguese and Zulu.

  • The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's much hyped launch of TV2 has failed to take off. According to sources, ZBC which is struggling to attract viewers due to its archaic and partisan programming, delayed the launch due to "technical unpreparedness and lack of programmes to fill up the schedule".

    ZBC chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, announced last year that TV2 was going to be on air by Christmas Day. But a source said: "It was clear that the channel would not take off around Christmas because of a lot of technical challenges and the programmes to have this running are evidently scarce."

    ZBC at the moment has one television channel that dutifully churns out Zanu PF's propaganda. This is despite the formation of the inclusive government last February whose major tasks include ensuring tolerance, media diversity and cessation of hate language.

    Private media players have been waiting for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to call for radio and television licence applications in line with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that brought about the unity government. Sivukile Simango, the ZBC public relations manager however said what delayed the launch was "some paperwork delay from the big people above. ZTV2 is coming soon," he maintained last week.

    "If you flip through your television channels you will see the colour bars on the other channels. Technically it's done, studios are finished and we have digitalised.

    "You will also notice that we have been on a trial run beaming some programmes just to see how prepared we are."

    Simango revealed that veteran broadcaster, Patrick Nyamhunga, is going to be the manager of the new baby. Nyamhunga once worked for Radio One now Spot FM in the early 80's.

    Media, Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Jameson Timba recently said Zimbabwe had the capacity to licence seven more television stations under the available broadcasting space.

    In terms of the current frequency allocation plan, Zimbabwe has the capacity to host three new television stations on the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band and one TV station on Very High Frequency (VHF) band. If Zimbabwe goes digital through a multiplex, it can have six additional television stations on the UHF and one more on the VHF band.

    The Standard 23rd January 2010

  • Capital cable network television limited will soon hit the airwaves in Sierra Leone with its eight-channel TV station. Managing director Mohamed Jah said the channels will be dedicated to producing Christian and Muslim education; women, gender and children's issues; education; sports; entertainment; news about the environment; international news and music.

    The MD also revealed that the station is going to be the first ever digital television to be operated in Sierra Leone, but noted: "The station will not be free-to-air but the cost will be affordable to Sierra Leoneans as it is an all Sierra Leonean entity". He further disclosed that the station will be supported by Telecast, a television manufacturer based in the United States and China.

    "The station will be equipped with a video-on-demand system and also an outside broadcast unit, which will be available for out of studio broadcast. It is going to broadcast 50% local and 50% foreign programs," he explained.

    Concord Times

  • Botswana man, South African based radio DJ, club DJ and record maker is reported to be eyeing a radio licence in Johannesburg which if successful would see the man known as Top Dawg, owning his own radio station. The Daily Business says DJ Fresh, Thato Sikwane the DJ now working for 5FM, is joining a consortium applying for a broadcasting licence for a new Johannesburg station.

    Should broadcasting regulator Icasa green-light the bid, the Big Dawg's roar will shake up the radio market as radically as it did when the first indie licences were handed out in 1997.

    "It would mean me moving to the new station's breakfast show," Sikwane admits, "but that's not decided yet. I'm not doing it to make money. If that was my motivation I could have moved to Highveld Stereo some time ago", the South African publication reported.

    DJ Fresh , who cut his teeth in radio presenting with RB2 in the 90s, is further quoted as saying, "For me, the excitement of being with a new station backed by substantial business and radio experience is to have a strong voice in the boardroom as well as the studio."

    DJ Fresh is also quoted as saying that he is chasing World Cup 2010 deals from potential international brands wishing to be associated with his music brand. "If just one big-name DJ or producer or advertiser picks up on one of our mixes as an anthem for the 2010 World Cup, sales will be huge," the Daily Business says.

    During the festive season DJ Fresh clinched an advertising deal promoting Nintendo's commercial for the holiday season. Since relocating to South Africa, DJ Fresh has become known for his House mixes, which have now sold over a million copies from 23 album mixes.

    DJ Fresh joined Johannesburg's edgy new YFM at start-up in 1997. Its daily play list of kwaito, hip-hop, R&B and dance music snagged a million listeners a day, mostly from SABC stations with dated formats, the business daily reports.

    The Business Daily reports that Sikwane has integrated his national audience since 2006; his radio show is up 15% a year due to a rise of 45% in black listenership with no loss of white fans. "Advertisers are loving it, he agrees, with a Tom Tom endorsement just concluded and a Touareg parked outside from his Volkswagen sponsorship", the report says.

    Mmegi 21st January 2010

  • *The Ugandan government has ordered the Central Broadcasting Station radio to immediately relocate from Bulange-Mengo, the seat of Buganda kingdom, and disassociate itself from the Kabaka if it wants to remain in business. CBS was also asked to re-apply for a new broadcasting licence after the initial one was revoked during the station's shutdown some four months ago. "[CBS management] must ensure that all those people consistently breaching the broadcasting standards should not appear on air again.


  • The Content 360 cross-media competition, which closes on 15 February 2010, has a new category, sponsored by Coca-Cola. The competition is calling for entries in six categories and is organised in partnership with the BBC, European Commission, National Film Board of Canada, Korea Communications Commission and TF1.

    Entitled Engaging with teens through branded content for Coca-Cola with global advertising agency Ogilvy, it is seeking new ideas to engage with teenage audiences that seamlessly integrate the brand into content - whether that takes the shape of a TV show, a web movie series, a mobile application, a game, a social network activity, etc.

    Digital creators, along with television and interactive producers, can submit their projects online and the winning idea, announced during MIPTV 2010, will receive a minimum €10 000 (about R108 000) contract to develop the idea further with Ogilvy for Coca-Cola.

    “Ogilvy has been a loyal partner of Content 360 for four years now and has been particularly active in encouraging its clients to participate. Coca-Cola's interest in creating a new competition category in the Content 360 Challenge highlights the growing importance of branded content and advertiser-funded programming at MIPTV, and its tremendous potential for driving creativity for today's multi-platform youth audiences,” says Ted Baracos, MIPTV director of Digital Media.

    Merging content ideas and digital innovation, Content 360 is a unique international forum and competition at MIPTV, which supports and stimulates the development of cross-media content creativity.

    It enables Internet & mobile producers, interactive agencies and digital designers to pitch their original ideas directly to leading broadcasters, agencies and brands, meet the global TV industry and access financing opportunities. It also is designed to provide an exclusive context for all media companies to advance their cross-media strategies and to develop new ways to captivate and engage audiences across all digital platforms

  • The Tunisian TV7 channel has resumed its broadcasting to Europe via the Hotbird satellite without any change of frequency.

    TV 7 services via Hotbird were interrupted on Wednesday January 27, following a technical malfunction of the W2 satellite which led to the interruption of 430 TV channels and some 60 radio channels.

    Launched in 1997, W2 belongs to Eutelsat which also owns the Hotbird satellite. Eutelsat owns 26 satellites and ensures the broadcasting of 3180 TV channels. On Thursday it announced on its website that it has "taken immediate measures to propose alternative solutions to all its customers".

    Tunisia News Online 28th January 2010

  • * Eutelsat Communications has confirmed the signature of a contract with MultiChoice Africa, the pioneer in multi-channel pay-TV across sub-Saharan Africa.MultiChoice has signed for a total 20 Ku-band transponders for 15 years on Eutelsat's new W7 satellite that is now operating at the 36 degrees East position. The relationship between the two companies  began in 2000 with the positioning of Eutelsat's W4 satellite at 36 degrees East to support MultiChoice's DStv platform which now reaches into more than 800,000 homes in sub-Saharan Africa. This new agreement extends to 2025.

    * The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) South Africa has announced that RadioGauge, a UK-based radio advertising effectiveness research programme, is to be run locally by Ask Afrika. Dollywagon Media Sciences and Dipsticks Research of the UK, who designed the project in 2007, will work alongside the Ask Afrika research team.The UK researchers, who still run the programme for RAB UK, claim to have successfully evaluated more than 200 radio campaigns, making them amongst the experts in this field as no other radio advertising effectiveness study is said to have achieved quite the same impact."The company is delighted at having been chosen to partner with the RAB on this strategic research project. Our undertaking of all fieldwork data collection guarantees the bureau accurate and high-quality data and will go a long way in establishing an ongoing working relationship," concludes Ask Afrika founder and CEO Andrea Rademeyer.

    * The average local FM stations’ ad rates in the Arab World increased from US$ 101 in 2006 to US$ 112 in 2008 and up to US$ 125 in 2009. Still, Pan Arab radio stations average advertising rates exceed by a substantial margin those of local radio stations. This could be explained by the fact that some of the Pan Arab radio stations are the only FM radio stations that broadcast in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest consumer market. A new report, “An Analysis of FM Radio Advertising Rates in the Arab World” has been published by the Arab Advisors Group’s Media Strategic on January 20, 2010.


  • The Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency (ERTA) requested an additional budget of 280 million Br from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) for ongoing projects including the digitisation of television broadcasts. The budget directorate of the ministry was evaluating the request and approved 200 million Br late last week.

    ERTA's budget request for 2009/10 was 525.7 million Br. However, the ministry had approved only 187 million Br. Now the agency has wiped out that money in ongoing radio and television projects, which prompted its request for the additional funds.

    ERTA plans to increase the coverage of its television and radio broadcasts nationwide from 42.7pc and 67pc to 87pc and 96pc of the country, respectively. It intends to achieve this by constructing an additional 53 relay stations for television and three for radio at a cost of 211.4 million Br and 40.2 million Br, respectively. So far, work is underway on 28 television stations.

    "The construction of 20 [relay stations] will be completed over the next two months," said Haileab Abreha, deputy manager for media technology at the agency. The agency is also awaiting delivery of equipment for the digitisation of its television broadcasts at a cost of 272.4 million Br. The order was given to Polytechnology, a Chinese company in November 2009. Some of the equipment has already reached port, Haileab told Fortune.

    Radio equipment, worth 16.9 million Br, has also been ordered from Germany, and will be shipped in two weeks. When the television broadcast is digitised, it will have eight channels, and clients will have to buy decoders to access the broadcasts. "One decoder will cost 20 to 30 dollars. We will soon announce to the public when to buy decoders," said Haileab.

    Technology choices were made earlier with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). Now there is a taskforce, composed of the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), the Ethiopian ICT Development Agency (ICTDA), and the Broadcasting Agency to decide when the transfer from analogue to digital broadcasts should be made.

    An editorial task force from ERTA, yet to be set up, will look at the content of all the channels that will be available through the digital broadcast. An issue being considered related to this is whether the broadcasts in various languages should have their own independent channels or continue as they are on the national ETV broadcast.

    The 200 million Br approved was allocated from budget reserves, as enhancing media coverage is in the interest of the government, an official at MoFED told Fortune. However, not enough money was left of the 1.06 billion Br the ministry had set aside as a reserve at the beginning of the fiscal year to supply the full amount requested.

    Seven hundred fifty million Br was already reserved for salary increases and 149 million Br was already given to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). The government is also preparing to buy 200 automobiles using money from this reserve. So far, only money given to the NEBE has been spent.

    Addis Fortune 25th January 2010

  • Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda is determined to proceed with the controversial proposals in the draft Public Service Broadcasting Bill despite widespread concern that they would undermine the independence of the SABC.

    Even though Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has clearly he said does not consider it "prudent" for the SABC to be funded by means of a levy of up to 1% on personal income tax. Nyanda insisted last week that the Treasury had been informed about the draft bill so that it could "inform (Gordhan) about (it) and its implications to his department".

    Gordhan said in a reply to a parliamentary question last month he had not been consulted about the draft bill. As a money bill it would have to be tabled in Parliament by the Treasury. It has not yet been approved by the Cabinet.

    Nyanda last week rejected the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) view that the draft bill would give him "unprecedented authority" over the SABC as "baseless and unfounded". "I have no intention of undermining that principle (freedom of the media) by 'interfering' with the day-to-day running of the public broadcaster," he said.

    "The SABC has both a board of directors and a group executive responsible for managing the public broadcaster. I have full confidence in both the board and executive management of the SABC to steer the crucial national asset towards the right direction and take it to greater heights."

    Nyanda said other ministers whose departments were affected by certain aspects of the draft bill would have an opportunity to comment on these issues when the draft bill was tabled in the Cabinet.

    He said the public would be given an opportunity to comment further on the bill before it becomes law. Comments already submitted from concerned bodies and the public on the bill would be "consolidated into the draft bill and be sent to Cabinet for discussion, after which the draft will be sent to Parliament for further discussion and be subjected to public hearings", he said.

    Business Day 20th January 2010

  • * SABC2 will run a telethon to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake victims on Thursday, 28 January 2010, on the Morning Live show, 6-8am.

    The channel has entered into partnership with Absa Bank, Independent Newspapers and the department of International Relations to raise funds and Solly Mokoetle, group chief executive officer, together with the deputy director of International Relations will challenge all South Africans, foreign embassies, sports bodies, artists and religious groups to donate towards the Haiti Disaster Fund.The fund's bank account number is 923 884 4487 at the Absa Branch Code 632005.

    * East Coasters donated more than R1 million and 40 000 toys to East Coast Radio's Toy Story 2009 campaign brought to you by OUTsurance. The R1 million was utilised to buy food parcels designed to meet the daily needs of child headed households comprising of between four and six members for a period of five weeks.

    The 40 000 toys that were so generously given by East Coasters were sorted according to gender and age.

    * The Durban Film Mart will provide African film-makers with the opportunity to pitch film projects to leading financiers and meet and network with internationally reputed directors and producers in order to form alliances for future collaborations. The FilmMart is expected to be a place for film financiers to locate fundable African projects and encourage project collaboration between African film-makers from different African countries.For more information on the Durban FilmMart and project submissions visit the website on or contact Musonda Chimba.

    Durban Film Office : +27 31 3114248

regulation & policy

  • National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Director General, Yomi Bolanrinwa, has cautioned broadcast practitioners to be wary of the kind of information they disseminate to the public, especially as the governorship election in Anambra State draws closer.

    The NBC boss warned that sensational news items capable of inciting public disturbance during future elections would not be tolerated by government as it could enforce a closure of such broadcast firms.

    He stated these in Abuja as part of measures to receive inputs on a new national broadcast policy from stakeholders. "Allow me to digress a little to touch a very important matter in view of the impending elections in Anambra State and the crisis in Plateau State.I want to use this opportunity to warn all broadcasting stations that their duty to educate, inform and entertain shall not be at the expense of national interest, unity and cohesion”.

    "The central place of broadcasting and its serious effect on the society has made it necessary for broadcast stations to exercise extreme caution in the coverage of elections and crisis because of the complex nature of our society, its diverse social, cultural, religious and political configurations that need to be harmonised.

    "Chief executives of broadcast stations should note that any station that violates the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code in the coverage of elections and crisis would have to face the full sanctions of the law.

    "The code also stipulates that sensationalism shall be avoided by strictly refraining from speculations and statements, details or exaggerations that could aggravate mass panic or hysteria," Bolanrinwa said.

    He observed that 17 years ago when government allowed deregulation of the broadcast industry, many changes in the socio-political and economic activities have necessitated the review of the national broadcast policy, noting that the Nigerian society is at the mercy of ever increasing technological evolution.

    Daily Independent 28th January 2010

  • President Yoweri Museveni wants the Central Broadcasting Services (CBS), the Buganda kingdom owned radio station, to apologise before it is reopened. CBS was shut down by the Broadcasting Council on September 11, shortly after violent riots erupted in parts of Buganda, over sectarianism and promoting hatred.

    Museveni, during his two-day tour to promote the Prosperity for All programme in Mpigi district, said the issue was discussed during a Cabinet meeting last week. He told a rally at Mpenja in Gomba that they put conditions for the reopening because the Government was tired of the presenters' bad manners, "especially of telling lies".

    "CBS had gone off track and I was starting to wonder why the Kabaka had allowed ill-mannered people to penetrate the radio. The Government is going to give conditions for its re-opening and it is the choice of the radio's administrators to put them into consideration." He was responding to area MP Rosemary Najjemba, who said her voters keep demanding for the reopening of CBS.

    The President said: "I will order the reopening of CBS when Mengo implements the conditions given by the Government." The Cabinet last week asked for an apology and wants CBS employees to drop all court proceedings against the Government. Other conditions are the relocation of the CBS studios from Bulange, the seat of the Buganda kingdom, and adherence to the broadcasting standards, including purging programmes that incite violence and disorder.

    Museveni said he ordered the closure of CBS because it was abusive and sowing hatred, adding that opportunists were using it to drag the Kabaka into politics.

    He stressed that it was wrong for the Kabaka to allow the presenters abuse and undermine the Government. "If I, the President, can sieve what I say, why can't a mere radio station?" Museveni said. "Do you want me to hit back and abuse the Kabaka?"

    New Vision 28th January 2010

  • * THE subpoena hearing of eNews journalists Mpho Lakaje and Ben Said was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court by agreement so an alternative process could be used to resolve the channel's standoff with the police.The television channel got into hot water with the police after broadcasting an interview with two self-confessed criminals, one of whom threatened to rob tourists during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.Following the interview, Lakaje and Said were subpoenaed, in terms of section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act, to disclose the identities of the criminals and deliver the unedited footage of the interviews.

technology & convergence

  • The visual broadcasting industry is set for radical changes over the next five years as policy and technology shifts drive new innovation in the sector, analysts say.

    Aside from the expected shifts arising from the country's transition to digital broadcasting in the next three years, industry players are gearing up for new ventures in unexplored formats, driven by the convergence of technologies that has seen the lines dividing various sectors in the communications industry blur.

    "Convergence is now threatening traditional broadcasting. It would not be a surprise if the next big TV station is Safaricom TV or Google TV because most of the digital signals will be carried via communication networks. As voice becomes competitive, the meat will lie in content and its channels of distribution," said Dr Bitange Ndemo, the Information PS, during a recent online discussion on the issue.

    The looming changes are spurred by the industry move towards digital broadcasts, which has eased the entry barrier for new entrepreneurs and expanded the definition of traditional broadcasts. The arrival of international fibre optic links that allow for more services has inspired players like Wananchi Group to diversify its offering to include a new broadcasting division, which the former internet firm is in the process of establishing in the hopes that it shall become an end-to-end multimedia company.

    A handful of Kenyan companies are already eying the internet as a new channel through which local productions can be aired online. Kenya Data Networks, Safaricom, Symbiotic and KenTV are some of the companies who hope to ride on the growth of internet services in the country to boost their revenue streams in coming months.

    Both KDN and Safaricom have launched interactive portals where local content is accessible online, while Symbiotic and KenTV have been developing local programmes for use online.

    Traditional broadcasters such as NTV, KTN and KBC are also using channels such as YouTube and JumpTV to highlight popular programmes aired on their terrestrial stations.

    A growing number of local firms are banking on the fact that in more advanced markets such as the United States, Internet TV (IPTV) and Cable TV are more widespread than the free to air TV format that is popular in this market.

    Meanwhile, a new initiative being fronted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will soon push content developers to alter the way they develop programming for viewers in coming years.

    New 3D TV technologies being developed under the auspices of ITU will have major implications for the film and television production sector, as content will need to be filmed using special new equipment in order for viewers to enjoy the full 3D experience.

    Last week, ITU released a new report outlining a roadmap for future 3D TV implementation, which envisages systems so smart they accurately mimic the way our eyes and brains perceive the visual world.

    The new roadmap would see 3D TV technology rolled out in three successive generations (technically known as profiles). This would be the second major shift in the industry following the advent of digital broadcasting, an initiative that is also being spear-headed by ITU.

    Business Daily 20th January 2010


    Already there are three Zimbabwean acts in the project namely, Victor Kunonga, Bongo Love and Africa Destiny. Fans can log on to the website, find an artist of their liking, elect the amount with which they would like to support the artist.

    A minimum of US$1.00 (plus transaction/administration costs) makes one a supporter of an artist's next studio recording. A selection of the artists from Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Zimbabwe and South Africa were hand picked by a music panel consisting of music experts like Baaba Maal, Tony Allen and Damon Albarn.

    When an artist reaches the US$10,000 mark recording budget they can be in the studio to record at least three songs. According to the organisers they will work with high quality studios and top of the bill producers. Africa Unsigned will find the desired producer for the artist. The artist's fans will be updated on the recording process with blogposts and videos.

    The music is then distributed to the fans that backed the artist and sold on all major online stores including Amazon and iTunes. All the generated net income from music sales is shared equally between the artists and the music fans that supported the artist.

    Penny Yon of Pamberi Trust, partners in the project said: "It is early days yet, since the website has only been up since the New Year, but Kunonga and Bongo Love have enjoyed around 100 'votes' each on the site so far."

    "This is an exciting new concept which allows international music fans to listen to the demo music of unknown artists from Africa, read their biographies and blogs, view their videos, and vote by increments of $1 for any artist they believe in.

    "The accumulated votes go towards more professional recordings, and in the meantime, the artists receive international exposure through a worldwide promotion.

    "The number of hits and votes are growing steadily."

    The Standard 23 January 2010


  • * NETIA has announced that over the past 12 months, the company has increased its presence in Africa and the Middle East, where new and existing customers have demonstrated their confidence in the company's solutions and contributed to its 16 percent growth over the course of 2009. NETIA's success in Africa and the Middle East is reflected through a series of sizeable projects in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. NETIA has provided systems for digitizing all radio networks in Algeria and was deeply involved in the launch of Radio Tunis Chaine Internationale in Tunisia (RTCI). Additionally, the company recently announced that it teamed with Radio Fana, a leading Ethiopian media group, on an archiving initiative that included digitizing the broadcaster's media assets and upgrading its broadcast infrastructure with NETIA's Radio-Assist. In Morocco, the company provided solutions key to the launch of a new radio broadcast chain.

    * January 2010 (date TBC)

    Nigeria, India plan joint film festival

    venue: Nigeria.

    INDIAN and Nigerian governments have concluded plans to host a joint film festival for Bollywood and Nollywood to commemorate the 60th and 50th independence anniversaries of both countries respectively. The festival, which is scheduled to take place by January 2010, is expected to serve as a vehicle for strengthening the cultural and economic ties that have existed between the two countries over the years.

    Mahesh Sachdev, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria said the result of the partnership would benefit 1.1 billion people in India and 140 million Nigerians.

    *18th February 2010

    African History month co-presentation

    venue: NY, USA - Schomburg Center for research in black culture

    organised by Africa Film Festival Inc.

    *22nd till 28th February 2010

    Aluta Film Festival

    venue: Kimberley, South Africa.

    Call for Entries: The organisers of the Aluta Film Festival, South African premier township cinema event, are calling for entries from South African and International filmmakers for 2010, the 7th edition of the festival.

    Deadline: November

    Categories: Features; documentaries; animation; short films

    Requirements: Preview: DVD PAL. Screening: 16mm, 35mm and video

    Awards: Aluta! Revolution Awards

    Fees: None

    Administrative address: 18985 Guttenburg Pitse Street, John Mampe. Phase One, Galeshewe, Kimberley 8300, South Africa

    Tel: +27 (0)76 853 1214

    Fax: +27 (0)86 513 7783

    Festival Administrator: Nandipha Shwababa

    *24-26 February 2010


    Venue: Pullman Teranga hotel in Dakar, Senegal.

    Film and TV content trade show, one of the most important event for the development of audiovisual content business in sub-saharan Africa fueled by overall growth in disposable income and advertising spending, the ongoing switchover process, strong broadband deployment, a fast-growing home-video marketplace, the construction of multiplex cinemas and the emergence of IPTV.

    * February 2010 (date TBC)

    SAFTA 2010 -

    The 4th South African Film and Television Awards. The closing date for entry submission was July 30 2009.

    Formats include:

    - For the Feature Film, Made for TV Movie, Documentary, Television Non Fiction, Short Film, And Student Sections

    - In the Television Fiction section: TV Drama, TV Soap, Mini Series and TV Comedy

    * 17-27 March 2010

    Cape Winelands Film Festival 2010 -

    venue: Cape Town

    One of South Africa’s largest film festivals, Cape Winelands Film Festival has announced an official call for entries.

    *5-10 April 2010

    AMAA Short Film Competition

    Venue: Lagos, Nigeria.

    The AMAAs are barely half a decade old – but within this relatively short period, they have made a significant impact on the African motion picture industry. They have created vast opportunities for linkages, for networking and for interfacing within and outside the continent. This synergy has diversified and intensified the reservoir of creativity in the industry.

    *April 7th to 13th, 2010

    17th NY Africa Film Festival (first session)

    venue: NY, USA - Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Center,

    The famous Festival organised by African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) celebrates the richness of African and African Diaspora culture.


    *10-15 April 2010

    NAB Show 2010

    Venue: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA.

    More than just broadcasting, the NAB Show is the world's largest digital media industry event attended by leading media, content, entertainment and communications professionals who share a passion for the next generation of video and audio content across multiple platforms — from television, radios and computers to phones, the big screen and beyond.

    Over twice the size of any other event of its kind, the annual NAB Show usually attracts more than 23,000 buyers from outside the U.S. who come to do business with more than 1,500 of the leading industry suppliers.

    *10-11 April 2010

    MIPDoc 2010

    Venue: Cannes, France.

    *12-15 April 2010

    SatCom Africa 2010

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg, South Africa

    *12-16 April 2010

    MIPTV 2010

    venue: Cannes, France.

    The World's international TV content market event. The conference programme usually presents over 150 of the biggest names in global TV and film entertainment, digital media and advertising.

    Exhibitors from Africa and Middle East usually accounts for 3% of total figures.

    *13-April 2010

    SatCom Star Awards

    Venue: Sandton Sun Hotel - Johannesburg, SA.

    Africa\rquote s premier satellite event brings you the industry awards for best practice.

    *15-25 April 2010

    26th PanAfrican International Film Festival

    Venue: Montreal, Canada

    Festival organized by Vues d’Afrique, open to films from all the continents, depicting African, Caribbean and Diaspora realities through a broad range of subjects.

    For the past few years the festival has devoted an entire section to the new generation of African Digital filmmaking. Works who aspire to be "a direct reflection of what happens on the ground" and that enable us to discover video productions that are both very contemporary and urban.

    *19-21 May 2010

    Broadcast & Film Africa 2010

    venue: Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) Nairobi - Kenya.

    *12-23 May 2010

    Festival de Cannes

    venue: Palais du Festival, Cannes, South of France.

    The Festival de Cannes has celebrated the cinema for more than 60 years.

    Over the years, the French Association of the International Film Festival has been able to evolve whilst retaining the essential: the passion for motion pictures, discovery of new talents, and enthusiasm of festival-goers and professionals from around the world, all contributing to the birth and distribution of films.

    *May 28th to 31st, 2010

    17th NY Africa Film Festival (second session)

    venue: NY, USA - Bamcinémateque and Bam Rose Cinemas

    The famous Festival organised by African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) celebrates the richness of African and African Diaspora culture.


    *16-27 June 2010

    2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival

    Venue: Edinburgh, Scotland.

    The Festival is internationally regarded as a focus for discovery, a celebration of cinema, a centre of debate and a catalyst for new films. EIFF is committed to screening high quality new short and feature film and video work in all genres from around the world.

    Please note all submitted films should be no more than 12 months old by June 2010 and EIFF requires at least UK premiere status.

    *June 2010 - date TBA


    venue: Kigali, Rwanda

    *July 2010 - date TBA


    venue: Tanzania

    *2-3 August 2010

    The Internet Show Africa

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg, SA.

    There are four seminar theatres themed around the following: Digital advertising and marketing, Web 2.0 and social networking, e-commerce and payments, Content management and streaming.

    *Until his demise, Njie fondly known as ‘Flying Lion’ was working with Paradise FM in Gambia, where he was regarded as one of the strong pillars of the radio.

    *The Tunisian TV figure Kalthoum Sarrai, known to the public under the tender name "Super Nanny", died on Tuesday night from lung cancer. Kalthoum Sarrai was the anchorwoman of the program bearing the same name on the French TV channel M6.

    *Olley Maruma, one of Zimbabwe’s pioneer filmmakers, died in Harare on Thursday 7 January. He was 57.

    2010 International Emmy Awards

    Call for entries

    ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, February 5, 2010

    The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is now accepting entries for the 2010 International Emmy Awards.

    Eligible submissions must have been created and initially distributed outside of the United States between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. The deadline for entries is February 5, 2010.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Awards Department of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at or +1-212-489-1946.

    7th African Film Festival, Tarifa

    The 2nd Spanish-African forum of film co-production Africa Produce and Co-production Incentive Fund has issued a Call for Entries. Africa Produce is a forum between African filmmakers and Spanish producers and Spanish TV commissioning editors and TV managers in charge of co-production. The goal is to introduce African cinema projects to the Spanish co-production market.

    The Centro de Divulgación Cultural del Estrecho Al Tarab (the NGO organizing The African Film Festival of Tarifa and Africa Produce) invites African filmmakers to participate with their feature length and documentary film projects1 in the 2nd Spanish-African forum of film co- production, Africa Produce.

    Africa Produce takes place within the African Film Festival of Tarifa (May 21st-29th, 2010) and it is supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development and Co-operation (AECID).

    All projects must be sent before January 15th, 2010 to: Before sending projects, please contact Carlos for the criteria for what projects may be submitted.

    Vue d'Afrique: Call for entries

    26th PanAfrican International Film Festival

    15th to 25th April 2010

    Montreal, Canada


    Festival organized by Vues d’Afrique

    100, Sherbrooke East

    Suite 3100

    Montreal, (Québec) H2X 1C3


    Tel. : +1 514 284 3322 extension 230


    Fiction, Feature length and short film Category

    Documentary, Feature length and short film Category

    Open to films from all the continents, depicting African, Caribbean and Diaspora realities through a broad range of subjects.

    Deadline for submission: 31st December 2009

    Registration Fees: none


    1) Film finished on or after: 1st January 2008

    2) Origin: All countries

    3) Screening format: 35 mm, Beta SP, Digital Betacam or DVD

    4) Films need to be in French or subtitled in French or English


    Digital Africa category. TV series, soaps, fiction and short films

    For the past few years the festival has devoted an entire section to the new generation of African Digital filmmaking. Works who aspire to be "a direct reflection of what happens on the ground" and that enable us to discover video productions that are both very contemporary and urban.

    Deadline for submission: 15th January 2010

    Registration Fees: none


    1) Film finished on or after: 1st January 2008

    2) Origin: All countries

    3) Screening format: Beta SP, Digital Betacam or DVD

    4) Film need to be in French or subtitled in French or English

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