Broadcast News

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

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

Dear Readers, Clients and Advertisers

2012 has been a year without spectacular, new announcements and indeed the conclusions of several imminent ones has been delayed. So it seems like something of a holding year…

However, the continent’s leading TV market DISCOP came back with a bang in Johannesburg in the autumn. The Sandton Convention Centre allowed almost all exhibitors to be in one hall and the conference alongside had many meaty sessions that were well attended. It will also be in Johannesburg in 2013 and we look forward to seeing you all there.

Rapid Blue  is an independent TV production house with headquarters in South Africa and branches in Nigeria and Angola. In terms of turnover, it is probably one of the top 3 production and digital media companies in South Africa. In an interview with Balancing Act's Sylvain Beletre, Duncan Irvine (Rapid Blue CEO) and Brett Levy (MD Rapid Blue Digital said that there was an abundance of content opportunities on the continent.

In Africa, the success of one venture is always the spur to many others launching in the same space. The high profile investment in Nigeria’s iROKO Partners seems to have driven interest in the VOD space and more launches have followed. But not all African VOD platforms are the same. Last week saw the launch of a South African platform Russell Southwood spoke Wabona’s Simbarashe Mabasha and tries to understand what makes the VOD platforms different.

DISCOP Africa 2012 came back with a bang after something of a dip last year in its new venue in Johannesburg, attracting 1,248 delegates from 85 different countries. It is the one place where you can get to meet more or less anyone who’s anyone in the African TV industry. But the excitement is generated by watching new African content being born and struggling to find its place in the sun. Russell Southwood rounds up what he saw and heard last week while in attendance.

They are several international news agencies with global reporting networks but few with a strong presence in Africa with the exception of AFP, Reuters and Xinhua. Balancing Act met with AFP's Marketing Manager Sylvain Risse and International Commercial coordinator François Bohn, at AFP's HQ in Paris to highlight what AFP has been doing on the continent so far and what it can offer to African media and corporate players in the future.

Last week, Paris-based Thema officially launched a unique new TV channel for francophone markets based on Nollywood movies. Nollywood TV is part of Thema's Bouquet Africain Premium. The other novelty is that the channel offers Nollywood films entirely in French via full dubbing and not simply sub-titling or synths. The initial launch was scheduled for the start of October 2012 in France via 'Free', a popular French multiplay operator.

When it comes to getting its film and television programmes seen outside Africa, the continent needs all the help it can get. Several events and initiatives have been launched in Europe to help people get a better understanding of African cultures and their global impact. For a short list click on the link here: This year, "Out of Europe XII" / 'Filme aus Afrika' is one of them; it is the largest African film festival organized in Germany.

Piracy has been a curse on African artists, producer and broadcasters who desperately need secondary income from the sale of physical CDs. About 48 hours after a copy of a legitimate CD is in the market, it will be picked up and sold as a pirated version. Until now, Nigeria had no professional distribution system but has relied on the “marketeers”. Russell Southwood talks to Lanre Dabiri, Iman Entertainment about the CD film and music distribution system he has launched.