Issue no 74 25 February 2010

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  • The Nigerian broadcasting market is one of the toughest in Africa where there is plenty of competition for tough markets. The pioneer of private broadcasting in Nigeria is Galaxy CEO Steve Ojo who runs a company that encompasses studios and a Nollywood producer and distributor. Russell Southwood spoke to Steve Ojo at DISCOP 3 in Dakar last week.

    Q: What’s the range of what your company does?

    A: I started with production. I used to support national (Government) stations with production and post-production services. Private broadcasting in Nigeria started 2 years ago and we were the first to go on air. We also helped other stations get on air.

    We were also a pioneer of Nollywood and I believe the next level in its development is to find partners for the equivalent of telenovelas. We could develop series like that in Nigeria.

    The Government refused to give me radio licences because I criticized them.

    Q: How big is the Nigerian TV market?

    A: The Federal Government has over 100 TV stations and the State Government have about 36 stations. Each State Government has about 1-2 TV stations. There are 15 private TV stations. Whoever is number one in Lagos is number one in Nigeria. 60% of the advertising revenues are in Lagos.

    We will get into national broadcasting through a partnership with Star TV. We will do it as a Free-To-Air channel. Star TV will work with us and we will set up a joint subsidiary with it.

    Q: What does Nollywood Worldwide Entertainment do?

    A: It is both a producer and distributor. It’s a separate company that also offers crewing, production and post-production. We have 40 non-linear edit suites in Lagos. We produce 50% of our content and also distribute it to other TV stations. We broadcast 18 hours a day and 50% of that content is produced locally.

    Q: Where do you sell your content outside Nigeria?

    A: We have tried out DISCOP. What we get is requests but these have not yet turned into dollars.

    Q: What’s the barrier to selling content more widely internationally?

    A: We need to understand what other countries want so that we can do anything from producing for Nigeria to producing for Africa. We’re going to be doing an increased volume of soaps.

    Q: Why has Nollywood been so successful across Africa?

    A: For the first time, it is Africans working to tell African stories from an African perspective. They know how to tell the stories best.

    Q: Who are your big competitors in Nigeria on the TV side?

    A: Chief Raymond Dokpesi of AIT/Daar who has the largest private TV broadcast company. There’s also Ben Bruce of Silverbird, who also owns cinemas. We just to Free-To-Air broadcasting.

    Q: How did you end up running a TV station?

    I started life in (Nigeria and Africa’s first) TV station in Ibadan in 1966. Then I went to America for 10 years to study in 1968. I came back to set up the first production company in Nigeria. For the first five years we were the only company so we used to help empower other companies to grow.

    For a report on DISCOP 3, see the Distribution section below.


  • The fourth season of the popular Zain Africa Challenge has returned to screens across the continent. The first ever televised international academic competition among students at African Universities from the leading universities in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia competed in the preliminary national tournaments to qualify to represent their countries and win a share in the US$ 1 million worth of prizes The current season is shot at Uganda's Imperial Royale Hotel.

    Thirty two teams from the 8 countries advanced to the International Championship Festival, held in Uganda. They then entered playoff games where there was tough competition to determine the 16 that would take part in the final rounds of the competition which will be aired on terrestrial stations in the eight competing countries and also, for the first time ever, simultaneously across the whole of Africa on the DSTV satellite platform on Africa Magic and Africa Magic Plus to over 700 million people.

    Season 3 of the Zain Africa Challenge, which was held last year, saw first time participants The University of Ibadan in Nigeria emerge victorious in the heated 'battle of brains'.

    For its efforts, University of Ibadan was awarded a US$ 50,000 grant from Zain, while each team member received US$ 5,000. In second place was Kenyatta University that won a grant of S$ 35,000, while each team member went home with $3,000. All the other schools that participated in the tournament received grants ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 35,000. The teams that participated in ZAC season four qualified by finishing among the top teams in the qualifying tournaments which took place in November 2009 in each country.

    East African Business Week 27 February 2010

  • The hilarious but hard-hitting satirical puppet show, ZA News, a collaboration between cartoonist Zapiro and producer/director Thierry Cassuto, is finally on television. It hits TV screens from Tuesday night on Summit, DStv channel 412.

    It was set to make its debut more than two years ago on SABC, but was deemed too controversial. For the last six months it has been available on the Internet, after Cassuto secured funding from airline and Mail & Guardian to make a daily show.

    Now viewers will finally get to see it in its full quality on TV, with a daily 3-minute headline satirical newscast shortly before the 10pm news on business channel Summit DStv 412, repeated just before 8am each day. For the full ZA News edition with all its skits and features, viewers can log on to

    “ZA News is a national treasure,” says Summit MD Vernon Matzopoulos. “We have a sophisticated audience and we think they’re going to love its take on current events. Like all good satire it gets you questioning things -  and if you look at recent headlines, there are a lot of big questions for business right now.”

    "Zapiro and I have been knocking on television's door for years with the concept of our show" says Thierry Cassuto, ZA News's executive producer and co-creator. “We are delighted to have a window on Summit. We have plenty of exciting new puppets coming out and many surprises in store for our viewers this year."

    Screen Africa 1 Mar 2010

  • A new entertainment show; Titans Nigeria is set to begin by March 1, 2010. This is targeted at helping the youths, especially the raw and talented rappers; comedians and singers showcase their talents.

    It is the first of its kind as it seeks to promote rappers, singers and comedians. The show begins its nationwide audition by March all over the country while the audition will start upon conclusion of registration in the following cities; Abeokuta, Abuja, Akure, Benin, Calabar, Enugu, Ibadan, Ilorin, Kaduna, Lagos, Makurdi, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Warri.

    Only one talent qualifies you to compete for the ultimate throne of the Titans; if you are a good rapper, comedian or singer.

    In an interaction with the press, the AGM of the company Obus Zalee Brodoh, stated that the idea is primarily aimed at helping talented youths from the grassroots who can rap, crack jokes or sing move to the next level. "Titans talent hunt show is all about Nigeria swagger and 'effizy'. We intend to help Nigerian comedians, rap artistes and singers move to the next level. Titans will be a unique TV show because it is the only TV show that will give rap artistes, comedians and singers opportunity to showcase their talents in a Nigeria swagger and 'effizy'"

    He further said "Unlike many other shows where they seem to prefer those who sing only like 'Oyibos'; in our show, your language and slang don't matter, it could even be in pidgin English. We want our winners to be supper-stars unlike many of theirs who just disappear thereafter because they are not original."

    According to Obus there have been fruitful discussions with one of the leading communication company in the country towards successfully hosting the reality TV show and the price for the form is N2,500; from any Oceanic bank nationwide.

    At the end of the audition in the slated cities, 28 finalists will emerge to contest for the ultimate prize in Lagos. The winner goes home with a brand new Kia Rio plus N1.5 million, while the first and second runners up will go home with N1 million and N500,000 respectively.

    Daily Champion 28 February 2010

  • Ghana's latest addition to the television industry Ghana would from today, commence two new local programmes on their channel. The two programmes, 'eBusiness Journal' and 'News Extra' are expected to help complement the station's quest of delivering up to date and accurate reportage of news.

    eBusiness Journal, providing a platform for businesses in Ghana and Africa would feature local business news from across the nation, top business stories from the globe, industry-specific news and a full menu of tools to help business owners and operators manage their businesses more effectively.

    Programmes Manager of Ghana, John Osei-Tutu Agyeman told The Mail in an interview that the station aims to be a leader in the delivery of business and industry news. He said, "We aim to be the leader in business news, offering daily local business updates from the markets, breaking news from around the nation and weekly updates of manufacturing and industry news throughout the country".

    Airing at 7:00pm every week, eBusiness Journal would showcase real estate listings, special focus on young entrepreneurs, business events, and strategic partnership opportunities.

    News Extra, would be aired at 1.00pm on weekdays andwould focus on up to date local, regional and international news stories.

    It would be anchored by Josephine Oppong-Yeboah, also known as Lady Joy, formerly of Top Radio. It would be a prelude to the station's flagship news bulletin, Prime News at 8.00pm.

    Born out of a partnership between Global Media Alliance Ghana Ltd and Sabido Investment (PTY) Ltd of South Africa, Ghana provides exciting and educative family oriented programmes for quality television viewing.

    Accra Mail 17 February 2010

  • * Pay-TV broadcaster M-Net has commissioned a new season of Idols, to find South Africa’s next singing sensation. This is the sixth season of Idols, which will broadcast on M-Net from July 2010.

    * Bonisanani, SABC 1's children's programme, has been on air for the past three years and the current series is the highest rating show in its timeslot of 06:30am on Sundays. SABC 1 has re-commissioned Bonisanani, meaning the fourth series will be hitting the screens in April this year.

    * A new Zimbabwean short film on multiple concurrent sexual partnerships (MCPs) runs for just 24 minutes, but the producers are hoping that its message will last much longer. The film, "Big House, Small House" is the latest offering from the OneLove Campaign, which works to reduce HIV prevalence and MCPs in 10 southern African countries. The title refers to the colloquial expression "small house", used to denote long-term, illicit sexual relationships in Zimbabwe. Television stations around southern Africa will air the movie as part of a series of 10 films - one from each of the campaign's focus countries - highlighting the dangers of MCPs.

    * To mark Be Positive Do Something Positive Day on the 1st of March, Kaelo - Stories of Hope will feature the incredible stories of ordinary South Africans who are making a difference by tackling some of South Africa's pressing social issues with positivity and determination. Kaelo - Stories of Hope is broadcast on SABC1 on Sunday at 12:30.

    *On Tuesday, 2 March at 6pm, the final episode of pay-TV channel M-Net’s 18-year old soapie, Egoli, will be broadcast, thus heralding the end of an era. While there is much speculation around how the soap will end, what is certain is that the final episode will be followed by 18 commemorative episodes, running from Wednesday, 3 March until Friday, 26 March. Egoli was South Africa's first ever daily soap. An Egoli feature film is due for distribution in cinemas from 16 June.

    *Capricorn FM launched its brand new line up on 1 March 2010, its first major change since the station went live in November 2007.The award-winning station has four new DJs: Kay Bapela on First Flight, Monday to Friday midnight to 3am; Prudence Mabasa on Capricorn FM Top 30 on Saturdays 9am to noon; Lindiwe Makhubele presenting the Jam District on Fridays from 8-10pm and Saturdays from 6-9pm; DJ Cappuccino who joins DJ Lacosta on the Mix Down Avenue on Fridays from 10pm to midnight and Saturdays from 9pm to midnight.

    * On September 11, 2006, Record Television came on to Uganda's broadcasting scene with a Portuguese broadcast due to its co-founders being Brazilian. Last year they expanded by opening up a radio station Record FM 97.7.The show will serve as the Record TV fourth anniversary.


  • The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, says it sanctioned about 35 broadcast stations for various breaches of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code in January 201 Awwalu Salihu, Head of Public Affairs Department, last week announced that the sanctions in various categories ranged from warnings to fines depending on the severity of the breach.

    The report reveals that, 'the broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, FM Owerri and Anambra Broadcasting Service TV, Awka, were fined. Other stations handed fines include; Silverbird Awka, NTA Awka, Raypower 100.6, Bond FM, Edo State Broadcasting Service and Ondo State Radio Corporation FM.

    The commission issued letters to Independent Television(ITV) Abuja, NTA Kaduna, ABG Communications, Desmins Television Kaduna, Africa Independent Television (AIT) Kaduna, among others, warning them against breaches that included praise-singing, absence of aviation warning light as well as broadcasting of Not To Be Broadcast NTBB Musicals, wrongful logo embossment and live relay of foreign news.The National Broadcasting commission also called on all broadcast stations to ensure strict compliance with the code of their profession, warning that it will not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions for any breach.

    Leadership 22 Feb 2010

  • At 9pm on 24 March, Africa will be the first in the world to receive the re-branded Hallmark Channel, on MultiChoice’s DStv bouquet. Owned by Universal Networks International, Hallmark Channel will now be known as Universal Channel.

    The re-branded channel will retain all the elements that made it popular on the DStv platform (ie. high quality series and films) but with an emphasis on premium, original first run content. Hallmark Channel has an estimated 3.7 million subscribers across Africa.

    John Burnett and Francois Roux of Universal Networks International, the global channels division of NBC Universal, made the announcement at a launch in Johannesburg on 18 February. They noted that the Universal Channel’s introduction into the South African pay-TV market was strategically timed to happen before the country’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June.

    Commenting on the rationale behind the re-branding Burnett said: “Despite the fact that Hallmark has been performing very well we felt the brand had certain restrictions. For instance, some people confuse the Hallmark channel with Hallmark greeting cards. Our research showed that men tend to watch Hallmark with their wives, whereas we believe they will watch the Universal Channel on their own. The Universal brand is much broader as it encompasses Steven Spielberg films and other famous films. There is also the Universal Theme Park.

    “However, our first priority with Universal Channel is to serve the same audience as before. So we will continue offering Hallmark favourites like Navy NCSI, Being Erica, Midsomer Murders, House, etc. Popular slots such as Essential Wednesday and Strictly for Girls will remain as will the DStv channel number. There is a definite demand in Africa for more US programming.

    “A key part of the channel is character – all our shows are character-driven. Consider Dr Gregory House from House, Erica Strange from Being Erica and Jack McCoy from Law and Order. Sensation is a word we use a lot with our channel – our shows cause sensations. We want the channel to develop its own personality. Our aim is to expand our business in South Africa and we thought it was a good market in which to start the name change.”

    Roux added: “We work very closely with MultiChoice. They told us that Hallmark was a good channel but that there was room for improvement. We’ve taken their feedback to heart and worked on our offering.” The new series of the long running Law & Order franchise will premiere on 24 November, as will new series of Psych and Monk.

    Screen Africa 19 Feb 2010

  • ICT infrastructure firm Kenya Data Networks has signed a Sh13.5 million sponsorship deal with SuperSport to secure rights as the broadcast partner for the 2010 Kenyan Premier League season.

    This is the second time the firm is getting involved with the top-flight league after the signing of a Ksh20 million three-year deal with Premiership club Mathare United early last month.

    KDN chief executive officer Kai Wulff said the move was an important element of his company's support for Kenyan football. "We have noted that the Kenyan [premier] league has a large following, which creates an important link between our brand and clientele," Wulff said.

    The two years the pay TV channel has been beaming live KPL matches from stadiums across the country has helped improve the standards of the local game and showcased Kenyan football talent across the continent.

    Clubs in this year's KPL have attracted significant corporate sponsorships after cement manufacturing giant Blue Triangle opened the floodgates with a Sh12 million package in favour of Sofapaka, which was followed by the Mathare United deal.

    Daily Nation 25 February 2010

  • Following the announcement of the imminent launch of the new TV station Afrikaanse Satelliettelevisie, Gordon Patterson, group MD of the Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), questions the feasibility of dictating culture to an audience segment.

    Patterson says that there can be no doubt that Kyknet and other content providers servicing the Afrikaans market have attracted considerable advertising support and have done well. There can also be little doubt that programming in this particular mother tongue sustains culture - but here is the challenge.

    “It is easy to think that television viewers want culture but they do not, at least not the majority. The principle need is entertainment pure and simple. Content that is overtly forcing a historic perspective on a culture, in my belief erodes the culture rather than sustains it,” he says.

    “To launch with the last interview by P W Botha as a "draw card" is in my opinion, a limiting strategy and one that undermines the progressive nature of the current and future Afrikaans community. For a culture to survive it must live and to live, it must evolve rather than go backwards.

    “Commercially, as attractive as this segment might appear, I have no doubt that there are significant ‘school fees' that will need to be paid so I really hope that they have equally significant backers. From an advertiser's perspective, the more competition the better since it lowers rates, increases innovation and improves service offerings in general,” says Patterson.

    Biz-Community 26 Feb 2010

  • Mourad Agrebi, technical director at ETT, Etablissement de la TV Tunisienne confirmed to Balancing Act’s Sylvain Béletre that his public organisation is testing DTT across Tunisia.

    The state-owned company which manages two national channels, Tunis 7 (or TV 7) and Tunisie 21 (canal 21) does not yet know what will be the final list of channels that DTT will transport but it should start with a cluster of about 8 to 12 channels, a mix of national and local channels.

    Tunisia started experimental DTT transmission back in 2001. "Now with its latest deployment of transmitters, the coverage should increase to 90% of the country with a launch planned by the end of 2010. We are launching DTT SD but not yet DTT HD." added Agrebi.

    The required bandwidth is 270 Mbit/s for a TV signal using 525 to 625 lines. The digital broadcast will use the DVB-T standard.

    The Tunisian broadcast Office National Télédiffusion (ONT) selected Thomson to digitise its network in August 2009. The expanded network will consist of 17 DVB-T transmission sites throughout the country via 60 stations, each using MPEG-4 head-end platforms. After analogue switch-off in 2015, 8 UHF and 1 VHF multiplexes are planned.

    The first DTT offering called “Talfazti”, initially available on the Internet, has been brought together by the company and DTT operator VNET and is a mix of audiovisual programmes with thematic content in Arabic and French. The 12 channel offering will include existing TV channels and radios. In 2010 coverage will reach 90% of the country, increasing to 100% by 2014.

    With the advent of digital terrestrial television (DTT), analogue television will gradually disappear from Tunisia’s television landscape. After some delays, by the end of 2010 most of North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) will have access to 15 digital channels, a revolution in the Maghrebian media landscape.

    The establishment of digital terrestrial television will cover all of the country by 2014, with the re-use of frequency spectrum to develop future services for communications via high-capacity radio waves high-flow mobile Internet services such as Wimax and the development of broadcasting technologies such as high-resolution systems.

    The DTT project will enable users to get the signal via Yagi areal, DVT converters and TV setup boxes or computer DTT chips. Mobile TV is also on the map to capture the DTT signal. DTT will allow to develop other applications such as streaming, file exchange, broadband internet access, tele-conferencing, e-learning and e-health.

    On top of the planned DTT access, TV7 and canal 21 are transmitted via Nilesat and Eutelsat satellites in Maghreb and the Middle-East. The company has also sealed agreements to broadcast in North America via the UK through Telestar.

  • * Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has criticised Mengo, the seat of the Buganda kingdom, saying it was selfish to try and suppress other people's cultures. He promised to fund the establishment of a Luruuli radio station to promote Kiruuli culture and language. Museveni, who was addressing a rally at Nabiswera sub-county headquarters, was responding to a request by the district chairman, James Wandira, to fulfill his promise for a radio station for the Baruuli.

    * Adom FM in Ghana is celebrating its 10th anniversary since it was acquired by the Multimedia Group from Groove FM in Accra and re-located to Tema, changing its format from a youth-oriented, English language musical station, to an Akan language station. While introducing program contents that range from Christian, through politics to community-oriented issues, the station currently has 22 affiliate stations throughout Ghana, with others in the US and Europe.

    * Jacaranda 94.2 is now the No.1 Radio Station for the Afrikaans market in Gauteng! The latest SAARF RAMS Diary shows healthy increases in overall Gauteng market share, English home language, and Afrikaans home language. The results confirm that Jacaranda 94.2 now owns a substantial 23.3% share of the Afrikaans home language market in Gauteng, building on a steady increase from 20.6% in October 2009 and 22% in December 2009. The continued growth firmly establishes Jacaranda 94.2 as the number one station when communicating with this sector of the market in the Gauteng.This, coupled with a healthy 1.7 % increase in the English home language market since October 2009.


  • The DISCOP media market seems to go from strength to strength. The third edition was held in Dakar 24-26 February 2010 and attracted over 400 participants. Sellers reported a steady flow of business and a more professional approach to business, reports Russell Southwood of Balancing Act who attended the event.

    Seen and heard at the event:

    * The Kenyan Government has spent US$24.79 m out of the US$74.38 m allocated to the digital transition on transmission infrastructure. KBC currently has the only signal carrier through a separate subsidiary, Signet. Up until the full transition in 2012, it will carry all current broadcasters’ programmes for free, after which it will charge signal carriage fees. Set-top boxes are currently selling for US$99.17 and there is a brisk trade from those who can afford them. Most believe the price should be US$25. There is now a discussion with Treasury about whether taxes can be removed from the price.

    * Chinese pay-TV operator and DTT vendor’s CEO Xing Xing Pang of Star TV said it had established eight DTT systems in Africa, including Tanzania (where it is trialling with TBC) and Nigeria (where it is working with NTA). It is also doing trials in Guinea, Uganda, Kenya and Central African Republic. It has so far only achieved 5,000 pay TV subscribers in Rwanda with its 60 channel offer. However, it is a force to be reckoned with as the EPL item below shows.

    * Thema’s channel for the African diaspora in France now has 60,000 subscribers and the service will be launched in Belgium shortly. Thema’s Francois Thiellet said he was just waiting for confirmation of DRC content and that the bouquet would be different to the French one. Belgium will be followed by Germany, Italy and Spain. Thiellet has been pleasantly surprised by the progress of the French channel:”In France, we projected 70,000-100,000 subscribers in 2 years but we’ll actually reach 100,000 this year.” It has be piloting a VOD service which has attracted subscribers in “the low thousands”: each on average downloads 50 programmes and films a month:”Bandwidth costs are very high and we want to give it time to develop before we roll it out to another operator.” Ever enterprising, he will launch a channel of African content in Europe focused on African productions including TV movies, films, documentaries and an arts, culture and entertainment magazine programme. It will focus on francophone and Nigerian and South African content.

    * OSMI (formerly Optima Media) are rumoured to have spent US$12 million winning the EPL Free-To-Air rights. It is launching a TV station affiliate programme in the Autumn to address pan-continental advertisers. Hi-TV won the Pay TV EPL rights for Nigeria bidding a rumoured US$120 million. The Hi-TV inspired consortium bid the highest amount for the rest of Africa Pay TV rights but because of the perceived commercial risk, the Premier League asked for 50% of the bid sum up front and the consortium were unable to come up with it. So in a second round of bidding Supersport raised its bid to a rumoured US$80 million. Star TV bid by itself but was not successful but we are told that its bid was comparable to the consortium bid.

    * Kenya’s Wananchi (with its Zuku brand) has 14,000 Pay-TV subscribers and will be launching a DTH satellite service and a Triple Play offer (June 2010) in Nairobi. Coincidentally, Senegal’s Sonatel will also launch a Triple Play service in the same month. South African Pay TV newcomer ODM will “soft launch” in early April 2010.

    * After its failure to secure the EPL TV rights for Nigeria, Daar Sat’s plans to launch seem to have been put on hold. Another Nigerian Pay TV operator, Trend TV, has folded. On a more optimist note, Nigeria’s Hi-TV has taken over Paradise Studios in Cross Rivers State (more details in a forthcoming issue). It must be infectious because M-Net is also building a studio in Lagos to provide localisation of parts of its programme offer.

  • The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) GM Norman Gibson says that RAB's strategic partnership with Sonovision, announced last week, is a logical step in the evolution of the RAB. “Since the re-birth of the RAB in January 2009, we have been committed to marketing the medium of radio far and wide,” he says.

    The first joint project will be a Radio Creative Workshop, for the University of Johannesburg's second year marketing communication students later this month. The workshop will explain the creative process involved in producing great radio commercials including a brief presented by a client, conceptualising the idea and the overall production process. Examples of some great local and international radio campaigns will also form part of the workshop.

    “We see this as a fantastic opportunity to build a relationship with the university while getting these students excited about the medium and a possible career in radio,” continues Gibson.

    “Our partnership with Sonovision is a key aspect of our ongoing engagement and continued conversation with advertisers and marketers, media planners, strategists, creative experts and key industry bodies, which we see as critical to the success of the RAB.”

    Biz-Community 22 Feb 2010

  • * Standard Bank aims to reach about 1.2 million people through its community radio campaign, which will be combined with a print and an intensive outreach campaign.

    The financial literacy campaign, known as Money Talks, will run from 22 February until November 2010 to help consumers understand the ins and outs of money. Specialist media house Kagiso TV and Communications has brought its experience of working in communities to bear in designing the 16-week campaign.

    * The content market MIPTV, which takes place in Cannes, France, has announced the launch of the first ever Producers’ Forum. The initiative has been specifically created to help international television producers develop their projects, fund production and identify new international business opportunities. The Forum comprises a complete programme of events to be held on 12-13 April and is organised in association with World Screen, the international media publishing group. The WIT’s highly-anticipated annual “Fresh TV Around the World” will showcase 30 of the most talked about TV formats aired or commissioned worldwide.

    * Loveurope recently opened its doors in South Africa to expand its worldwide offering into the growing African market. This international advertising production company already has a network encompassing more than 10 countries around the world. It works with 15 of the world’s top 50 global brands.


  • Botswana Television will pay satellite operator Intelsat nearly P134 million for the provision of transponder services over a six year period.

    The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board's (PPADB) website lists its decision on tender number PR 17/1/418-2, in which the Department of Broadcasting Services sought "authority to renew contract for provision of satellite transponder services with INTELSAT for six (6) years at US 3,326 400 per annum inclusive of vat". That translates to about P 133 721 280 over the six-year period. The tender was awarded two weeks back.

    In an earlier interview Broadcasting Services Director Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo had asserted that details of a contract between Btv and the company providing satellite services to the station are privileged information "between ourselves and our service provider".

    Mmegi sought to know the provider of the transponder services, and if Btv owed any money and the amount owed. The questions followed allegations that the station was likely to switch off for failure to pay for the transponder. However in his answer Kaboeamodimo said that the station had "just entered into a new 12 months contract with our satellite service provider," and that the department "shall be paying the agreed contractual service fees as per our agreed schedule of payments".

    The payment should allow Btv to beam its signal through a transponder - an allocated space on the satellite. Intelsat is a leading satellite company and owns and operates a fleet of 51 satellites around the world. BC Partners, a private equity firm owns 76 percent of Intelsat.

    Meanwhile sources within Btv say that the station is yet to rectify a long-standing archiving problem. The station is reported to have run out of D9 tapes, which are used for archiving purposes. This, reports say, has crippled program production at the station as the station grapples with the problem of saving both local and international programmes for re-broadcasts. Sources say that the station should not be having problems with archiving as it recently bought a new system that replaced the old one that the station had used since it started broadcasting in 2000. A South African company Ayanda Media Technologies (AMT), which specialises in broadcast and media technologies, was awarded the multi-million Pula tender to upgrade the facilities at Botswana Television (Btv) late 2007. The company says in its website that the contract "included the supply, installation and commissioning of a complete broadcast production workflow system" AMT would supply their integrated "Quantel Enterprise sQ news production system to service all of Btv's news and production needs [and] installation will position Btv as one of the most technologically advanced broadcasting facilities in Africa".

    AMT says in its website that it is the same company that installed Btv's initial production system at the time the station started operations in 2000. When asked about the problem with archiving at the station Kaboeamodimo said that Mmegi should refrain from "unsafe speculation", adding "in any case these are not issues for discussion with newspapers".

    MMegi/The Reporter 19 Feb 2010

  • The Namibia Film Commission (NFC) says it is not very satisfied with the latest audit report on the accounts of its film and development fund, which was tabled in Parliament. "There are some figures stated in the Auditor General's report which are different to ours," said Namibia Film Commission (NFC) secretary Edwin Kanguatjivi on 23 February 2010.

    "It would have been fair if the audit team had given us a chance to respond to some of the issues raised in their report," Kanguatjivi told The Namibian. He also pointed out that he did not sign any of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 financial statements that appear in the audit report. "We waited for the audit team to come back to us, this did not happen, we are not quite satisfied with this audit report," Kanguatjivi added.

    He further pointed that expenses on film and video productions during those three years were less than what The Namibian reported."According to our accountant, the expenses over the three financial years did not come to N$220 million, but only to N$80 million in accumulated expenses by March 31 2008. In 2006 it was N$64,4 million and in 2007 it came to N$76,8 million and in 2008, the accumulated expenses up to that financial year came to N$80 million only. Your newspaper added up the three amounts and wrongly came to N$220 million," Kanguatjivi pointed out.

    During the 2005/2006 financial year, the NFC spent just over N$50 million with the lion share going to the film based on the book of former President Sam Nujoma, 'Where Others Wavered'. In the 2006 to 2007 financial year only N$16.2 million was spent on film productions and the following year the money for productions came to just N$655 000.

    Asked which other film or video productions the NFC participated in apart from the liberation struggle movie based on Nujoma's autobiography, Kanguatjivi said one video was on voter education for the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN). "We are also co-funding the local video 'My fathers' own son' and the national broadcaster's (NBC) first soapie called 'The ties that bind'."

    The Namibian 23 Feb 2010

  • *Job cuts are looming at South Africa’s SABC as the new board and CEO Solly Mokoetle strive to slash costs and reduce the bloated head count of nearly 4000 employees. And the public broadcaster is appealing to the Department of Communications and Parliament's communications committee to help it get the auditor-general to undertake a comprehensive forensic audit to clean up the rot in the organisation because it cannot pay for such an audit itself. They are necessary to reduce the wage bill, a requirement of the R1.47bn state guarantee as well as being a recommendation of the report handed to the new board by the interim board at the end of its term of office. The SABC's wage bill soared 15.3% in the 2008-09 financial year, mainly because of an increase in the head count. The corporation reported a loss of R910m in the year to the end of March last year.

regulation & policy

  • A catholic evangelist who told a BBC reporter that he committed 70 ritual murders has been charged with giving false information to a public officer. Polino Angella, a resident of Bala sub-county in Apac district, was charged yesterday before a Lira magistrate. The offence carries a prison sentence of one year.

    "On January 18, you told detective Vincent Odwar false information that you sacrificed 70 people, including your own son, Nelson Ojede, to the evil spirits, which was investigated and confirmed false," magistrate Everest Palodi told the accused.

    Angella pleaded not guilty to the charge and was sent on remand to Lira Central Prison. His plea for bail was turned down. The magistrate said he needed time to study the file before granting bail.

    According to the prosecution, Angella told BBC reporter Tim Whewell that he sacrificed 70 people, including his own son, in the 1980s and 90s when he was still an active witchdoctor. The documentary, which was shot in northern Uganda, was aired on BBC last month.

    The claims by Angella during the BBC broadcast attracted public attention, leading the Police anti-human sacrifice unit to institute investigations. The documentary also showed a group of traditional healers re-enacting how they killed their victims.

    Angella earlier claimed that he was paid sh200,000 to dramatise the human sacrifice story and that he was promised a donation for his community-based organisation. Godwin Tumugumye, an officer at Lira Police Station, said the BBC correspondent is also wanted by the Police.

    New Vision 24th Feb 2010

  • Indications emerged at the weekend that the Ogun State Government may have devised another strategy to intimidate perceived opponents as it launched yet another offensive against the owners of an Abeokuta-based radio station, Rockcity FM, on grounds that its headquarter's building contravened the state Urban and Regional Planning Law No. 20 of 2005.

    Local newspaper This Day reported that the contravention notice, which was issued by the Abeokuta West Zonal Planning Office of the state Urban and Regional Planning office, dated February 16, 2010, stated that the radio station, which is located at Asero Housing Estate, Asero, allegedly violated the regulatory planning law through the "illegal change of use suspected to be without building plan approval."

    The contravention notice, which was issued via the Serial Nos 2008/No 0022106 and ABWZPO/D1/22106/02/10 revealed that the state of work at the building had been "completed", thus setting in motion a possible showdown between the agency and management of the company, ostensibly owned by Governor Gbenga Daniel's former Commissioner of Information, Niran Malolu.

    Investigations however, revealed that Daniel's administration may have devised the latest move ostensibly to rattle Malolu, whose apparent indifference had made the government uncomfortable. The State government had earlier slammed that radio station with huge taxes which was said to cover the financial year predating the establishment of the station.

    This Day 27 Feb 2010

  • *Exiled radio stations, labelled pirates by the Robert Mugabe regime have once again come under attack from ZANU PF during a protest march by hundreds of youth members through the streets of Harare on Wednesday. Photojournalist Andrison Manyere was apprehended and stopped from taking photographs during demonstration.

    * Loyal Radio Wave listeners, who tuned in yesterday morning to listen to their favourite South African 'shock-jock' duo - the Waking Crew's Jarret Loubser and Christine 'Mossie' Mostert - were instead met with a sombre announcement from station manager Margaret Loubser stating that the Waking Crew had been suspended pending an internal investigation. Comments on Radio Wave's website last week expressed frustration and support for the Waking Crew.

technology & convergence

  • Good news for SA consumers who don't have access to satellite pay-TV is that the country is set to get terrestrial high-definition channels. The bad news is that they'll have to wait at least another three years to enjoy the crisper images served up by HD broadcasts.

    The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), which regulates telecommunications and broadcasting services, says terrestrial HD TV broadcasts are on the cards, but only once the country has migrated fully to digital terrestrial television. The period of dual illumination, where both analogue and digital broadcasts coexist, will end in April 2013, at earliest.

    In a “reasons document” accompanying the release on Monday of the latest version of ICASA's digital migration regulations, the regulatory authority says the transition to terrestrial HD broadcasts will happen in terms of a review of the so-called “digital dividend”. This refers to the radio frequency spectrum that will be freed up by the move from analogue to digital.


  • Botswana Television (Btv) looks set to adopt the latest broadcast digital technology, known as the ISDB, popularised by Japan and Brazil.

    The technology will be unveiled in Gaborone during a one-day seminar scheduled for the Btv auditorium next Monday. The Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) will host the seminar.

    DBS director Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo says in a release that they hope Japan and Brazil would share their experiences with Botswana and other African countries on the introduction of the broadcast technology. Kaboeamodimo says he hopes that in future the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region will also adopt the system to meet the demands of the technology he describes as a revolution. Both Brazil and Japan ISDB delegations are scheduled to make a combined presentation at Btv about the benefits of the technology. ISDB is a Japanese standard for digital television.It was adopted for commercial transmissions in Japan in December 2003 and currently comprises a market of about 100 million television sets and had 10 million subscribers by the end of April 2005.

    Brazil has become the leaders in the use of the ISDB-T technology along with Japan after it led the revolution in South America when it decided to choose ISDB-T as a base for its DTV format, calling it ISDB-Tb or internally SBTVD (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisâ-'o Digital-Terrestre). Argentina, Peru and Chile followed suit, while the likes of Venezuela are also considering adopting the ISDB-Tb system which could provide economies of scale and common market benefits from the regional South American manufacturing instead of importing ready-made STBs as is the case with the other standards, according to the Wipikedia encyclopedia.

    Mmegi 16th Feb 2010


  • * Telegent and Brightstar have partnered to launch ‘Soccer TV’ Phone / Avvio 505 which will enable Latin American and African soccer fans to view live, free-to-air broadcasts of World Cup 2010.

    * Become a 1Africa Affiliate and gain access to their library of free specialist programming for rebroadcast. All you need is a satellite dish and decoder... and to contact us to register! Also... keep up to date with the latest shows released each month, advertised in the newsletter as well as on our website.Find a list of our shows on offer in March at To download content, go to: Content is totally free, but is not for resale and may not be edited. You will need a username and password to access the ftp (digital download) site. Email for more information.

    1Africa's mission is to uplift, educate and encourage African youth by focusing on the positive and broadcasting a message of hope across African borders in a relaxed and relevant way. So, contact it on +27 (0)21 950 6900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +27 (0)21 950 6900      end_of_the_skype_highlighting | email:

    * African News, a web portal in Holland is looking for Freelance African and Non-African reporters living and working in Africa to do paid assignments. It is looking for: African cameramen/women; African video and film production companies; African journalists and African photographers in all African countries who speak English or French or Portuguese. If you like to sign up, please send your cv to:

    * 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\rquote 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 \emdash 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’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.


    * 3-4 June 2010

    SAMRA 2010 Conference

    Venue: Mount Grace Country House and Spa

    Johannesburg, South Africa

    The conference is organised by the South African Marketing Research Association calling all Research Stake holders.

    Contact Paul Haupt Tel: + 27 11 463 5340

    *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.


    *ACTING Nambian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Director General, Yvonne Boois, is the hot favourite to fill the vacant chief regional officer (CRO) position in the Hardap Regional Council.

    *Eight years after she was crowned Miss World, Ibiagbanidokibubo 'Agbani' Asenite Darego is set to explode on television screens as host of a fashion reality show. The show, produced by IBST for a yet to be named agency is titled Styleogenic.

    * The SABC board suspended group executive: commercial enterprises Gab Mampone on Friday, 26 February 2010, on suspicion of acts of serious misconduct in both his current and previous positions and has subsequently appointed Ray Nkwe to handle Mampone's duties in an acting capacity.

    *Gagasi 99.5 FM's new lineup will see Vusi Letsoalo and Archie Majola returning to the airwaves next week, Monday, 1 March 2010. The changes were announced yesterday, Wednesday 24 February, at the station's offices in Umhlanga, north of Durban.

    *ACTING Nambian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Director General, Yvonne Boois, is the hot favourite to fill the vacant chief regional officer (CRO) position in the Hardap Regional Council.

    *Eight years after she was crowned Miss World, Ibiagbanidokibubo 'Agbani' Asenite Darego is set to explode on television screens as host of a fashion reality show. The show, produced by IBST for a yet to be named agency is titled Styleogenic.

    * The SABC board suspended group executive: commercial enterprises Gab Mampone on Friday, 26 February 2010, on suspicion of acts of serious misconduct in both his current and previous positions and has subsequently appointed Ray Nkwe to handle Mampone's duties in an acting capacity.

    *Gagasi 99.5 FM's new lineup will see Vusi Letsoalo and Archie Majola returning to the airwaves next week, Monday, 1 March 2010. The changes were announced yesterday, Wednesday 24 February, at the station's offices in Umhlanga, north of Durban.

    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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