Issue no 75 12 March 2010

top story

  • Last week market research company InterMedia launched AudienceScapes, a research web site funded by the Gates Foundation. It conducted two country surveys (Ghana and Kenya) in 2009 and of the two, the Kenya survey is probably the more interesting for African Broadcast, Film and Convergence readers. Based on a robust national sample covering all regions of the country, it is filled with a number of interesting nuggets: three examples are that 11% of the sample have access to the Internet at home, 12% use their mobiles weekly to access the Internet and that rural viewers in the sample were as likely to watch Citizen as KBC. Russell Southwood went through the numbers.

    The InterMedia survey was conducted in August 2009 and had 2,000 respondents based on a probability-proportional-to-size (PPS) plan. 53% of the sample was aged 15-29. 35% of the sample was urban and 65% rural. Only 2% of the sample had a university degree or higher. The survey has been conducted after the arrival of two new international cables (Seacom and TEAMS) but before Internet prices were significantly reduced.

    Based on the total population in Kenya of 23.8 million in 2009, 11% of the sample had access to the Internet based on which there are around 3,960,000 people with access. 23% had access in urban areas and 5% in rural areas.

    However, the main media remain radio (87% overall, 90% in urban and 84% in rural areas), TV (41% overall, 62% in urban areas and 29% in rural areas) and mobile (77% overall, 83% in urban areas and 65% in rural areas). When asked what they used to get news and information in the last week, the sample respondents’ replies mirrored this pattern. However, word of mouth, especially with friends and family (66%) loomed large. Newspapers at 39% still have a significant lead over SMS at 23%.

    98% consider radio very trustworthy or somewhat trustworthy as a source of information. Radio stations listened to were ranked as follows: Citizen (46%), KBC (28%), Inoro (12%), Easy/Nation (11%) and Kiss (10%). The lower percentages remain a considerable achievement in a very fragmented market.

    However, on the TV front Citizen comes close to challenging state-run KBC on what has been traditionally considered its home ground, the rural areas:

    Urban Rural

    Citizen 59% 40%

    KBC 41% 44%

    KTN 55% 26%

    NTV 49% 19%

    These figures clearly show that that KTN and NTV are predominantly urban stations. However, this may change in the long-term as all broadcasters get access to a wider transmission area through Signet, Kenya’s digital signal carrier. Television is considered by 94% of the sample (just slightly less than radio) very or somewhat trustworthy. Interestingly only 63% consider SMS to be very or somewhat trustworthy.

    Nevertheless, 63% of respondents send and receive SMS. 23% use their mobiles for financial transactions. 12% use it weekly to access the Internet and 4% claim to watch live TV.

    Price and available bandwidth are obviously constraining what Kenyan Internet users can do and the majority still use it for things like e-mail and research. However, there are those using it several times a day/once day for the following (based on % of Internet users in the sample):

    Visit social networking sites 32%

    Watch/download videos 20%

    Play games 17%

    Listen to the radio 12%

    All of these uses are before there is really the bandwidth to make this a pleasurable experience or the cost of Internet to make it widely attractive. The percentage for daily social networking sites backs up other survey findings and anecdotal evidence: Facebook has spread like wildfire in Kenya, both in urban and rural areas.

    InterMedia has launched its AudienceScapes site which can be found on the link below. Whilst aimed at the development sector, there is a great deal of useful information for anyone involved in communications in Africa:

    The two surveys of Ghana and Kenya can be downloaded by clicking on the links below:


  • Fans of adult entertainment who were eagerly anticipating a possible porn channel on DStv have been disappointed.

    The pay-TV service announced on Friday that the majority of its viewers had indicated that they were not ready to welcome blue movies into their living rooms.

    In a press statement, the company's South African head office said that it had studied the results of a subscriber survey to test responses to the issue of adult content on pay-TV channels.

    Group CEO Nolo Letele described it as "unfortunate that the research conducted was misinterpreted by some people to mean that a decision was [already] made to introduce an adult content channel in our bouquets". Research to test viewer tastes was being conducted on an ongoing basis, he said.

    Ever since word spread about the porn survey, there has been an overwhelming outcry - both in Namibia and South Africa - against the intended plans. When approached for comment by The Namibian last week, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Marlene Mungunda, could barely disguise her disgust.

    According to her, the introduction of an adult entertainment channel would have contributed to gender-based violence, drug abuse, the further escalation of HIV-AIDS and added fuel to the teenage pregnancy fire. "Some girls can contract HIV-AIDS by practising what they are seeing. It is an evil on its own. It can even go up to prostitution. It is too dangerous."

    In a surprise twist, this statement landed the minister in hot water with some members of the public, because the ruling party, Swapo, holds a majority stake in MultiChoice Namibia through Kalahari Holdings.

    Furthermore, Mungunda came under fire from some viewers who said they wanted the choice to decide for themselves what they would like to watch on TV, and pointed out that DStv decoders had a parental control function allowing parents to regulate what their children watch.

  • Production of the film version of one of South Africa's most beloved books, John van de Ruit's Spud, got underway at Michaelhouse in the KZN Midlands on Monday 8 March 2010. Featuring some of South Africa's most talented actors and established stars, Spud: The Movie is one of the most anticipated movie releases of the year. The identities of the young actors cast to play the "Crazy 8" gang has been the subject of much debate in the press and online – and here they are!

    Producers Ross Garland and Brad Logan are happy to see filming of Spud finally get underway. "It's great to see the years of planning finally being realized with a full cast and crew on set at Michaelhouse," says Logan. "We're delighted to see a South African film being produced in the country with a host of local actors, put together by a local crew and funded by South African investors." Garland has a special word of praise for the cast. "We cast the net far and wide to find talented actors to bring John van de Ruit's characters to light and are delighted with the superb cast we've put together - and we're confident they're going to do a fantastic job," he says.

    Spud is set in South Africa in 1990 and chronicles John "Spud" Milton's first year at an elite, boys-only private school. Cursed with parents from well beyond the lunatic fringe, a senile granny, and a dormitory full of strange characters, Spud has to forge a new life for himself in this foreign and sometimes hostile environment.

    Surrounded by names such as Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud takes his first tentative steps along the path towards manhood. (The path, it seems, could be a rather long road.) Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes us from illegal night swimming to the cricket field, from ghost busting to teacher baiting. He also invites us into the mind of a boy struggling to come to terms with a strange new world; a boy whose eyes are being opened to love, friendship and complete insanity.

    Spud, the Movie is produced by Rogue Star Films and BLM Productions and supported by the National Film and Video Foundation.

    For more information email Trevor Crighton (Trevor @

  • MultiChoice Namibia together with the Ministry of Education is providing educational content from the DStv bouquet to schools and learning institutions throughout Namibia.

    The partnership, whose aim is to promote and enhance ICT education in the country, has resulted in the introduction of the MultiChoice Resource Centre project.

    "MultiChoice Resource Centers are part of a broad community development strategy designed to leverage MultiChoice assets and expertise for the development and enhancement of education in Africa.

    "In Namibia, the program was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education, and launched in 2004," said Claudia Blohm, public relations officer, Multichoice Namibia.

    According to Blohm, there is no specific date set as to when this initiative will end and through the programme MultiChoice commits itself to help bridge the digital divide and has therefore prioritised ongoing education in its Corporate Social Investment program.

    "MultiChoice Namibia is in the process of equipping an additional 25 schools with the DStv Education Bouquet, which will bring us to 225 MultiChoice Resource Centers across Namibia by the end of 2010," she said. She also said, the average cost per school for the hardware is about N$8000, then comes the cost of programming, support and training for the schools. The DStv education bouquet is proving to be very popular among the teachers and learners and this is evident from the feedback MultiChoice Namibia is receiving from the schools.

    "As part of the schools commitment and counter-performance we require that the system is installed in a classroom where the system can be used to its fullest extend for the benefit of the students. We also require that the school provide a cabinet to keep the TV, VCR and DStv decoder safe from damage, dust or theft," she added. The Ministry of Education selects the schools where the MultiChoice Resource Centers are installed, and the DStv Education Bouquet is delivered at no cost to participating schools.

    It comprises eight premium channels namely: The History Channel, Mindset Learn Channel, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC World, and NBC. Included in the sponsorship is a Panasonic 74cm flat screen television, a Panasonic VCR, 10 x VCR tapes and a fully installed DStv system, due to the difficulty in obtaining VCR's and blank tapes, a decision has been made to install DVD recorders this year.

    The Economist, Namibia

  • More films on Africa made it at the 60th edition of Berlin International Film Festival, also known as “Berlinale” this year (11 to 21 Feb. 2010), such as for example:

    -“Kinshasa Symphony” from German filmakers Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer.

    - A fiction film about women called “Imani” from Caroline Agnès Nazozi Kamya. The film takes place on just a normal day in the Ugandan capital Kampala and in the Gulu province.

    - Four documentaries from young Congolese filmakers “Congo in four acts” reviewing living conditions in Kinshasa and other places. Directors: Dieudo Hamadi, Divita Wa Lusala, Patrick Ken Kalala, Kiripi Katembo Siku

    More than 19,000 film professionals from 136 countries, including about 4,000 journalists, are accredited for the Berlin International Film Festival every year.

    Berlinale 2010 has also designated Nuruddin Farah as member of the international jury. Nuruddin is one of modern Africa’s most important writers. His first novel “From a Crooked Rib” (1970) already made him internationally famous. Farah’s works, which often depict the search for social and family identity, have been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His latest novel “Knots”, published in 2007, is the second part of a trilogy about Farah’s home country, Somalia.

  • - To celebrate its anniversary, TV5, the French TV channel provides an interactive documentary about going and meeting modern Africa, fifty years after independence.

    - After an extensive talent search and casting process in Botswana consisting of over 500 submissions, 150 auditions and 48 final cast selections, Morwalela began shooting on location in Botswana on the 19th of January 2010. Alongside a majority Batswana cast, Traffic has assembled a talented pool of local Batswana and South African crew to produce a quality production. Set in rural Botswana, Morwalela is a drama series aiming to motivate and encourage positive lifestyles, attitudes and behaviour change to reduce HIV transmission.

    - The Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) which takes place every year in Fribourg (Switzerland) is showcasing some films on Africa again this year including:

    « Moi, un noir » by Jean Rouch and « Wahed-Sefr - One-Zero » - Kamla Abu Zekry from Egypt. FIFF’s aim is to promote quality films and thus contribute to ensuring cinematographic and cultural diversity in Switzerland as well as throughout Europe. In this spirit it selects works essentially from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The 24th edition of the festival ends on March 20th. African Filmmakers are invited to submit their films for the next festival.


  • The Democratic Republic of Congo has announced that it will begin the process of digital transition for broadcasting transmission. Other African countries already making progress with the transition include Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The deadline set by the ITU for the transition is 17 June 2015.

    This is what the Congolese Minister of Communication and Media’s Spokesman, Mr. Lambert Mende Omalanga, in collaboration with teleconsultation, a Technical Council to the Government represented by its Director General Angelo Parenti have announced on Tuesday, March 2, 2009 at the Sulutani Hotel before a handful of important members of national radio channels and télévisions. On should remember that 72 digital channels will be broadcast from Binza, designated as the national DTT signal carrier.

  • TV audience measurement firm AGB Nielsen told Business Day on 11 March 2010 that it was not ideal for state-owned entities to handle technology related to broadcasting, because their structures were not equipped to keep up with global trends.

    Toni Petra, MD of AGB Nielsen Media Research Corporate Support Centre in Switzerland, said placing government-led companies in charge of this type of technology often saw countries being left behind when it came to broadcasting. "The problem is that technology changes so quickly that the government procurement process cannot keep up," she said.

    A similar debate has evolved around state-owned signal distributor Sentech, which is considered crucial to public broadcasting as it has the most comprehensive infrastructure but which has failed to deliver on many of its mandates, one being the creation of a national wireless broadband network that would provide connectivity to schools, hospitals, clinics, community centres, post offices and government offices in under- serviced areas.

    Petra, who is originally from SA, said she had not kept up with the issues surrounding Sentech but that her impression of SA was that broadcasters were "very jacked up and keen to learn from global trends". However, they were being held back by problems with infrastructure.

    "Development is driven by infrastructure. Online, internet and broadband are still not that accessible here," she said.AGB Nielsen will be engaged in measuring viewership of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Its research will involve monitoring TV, internet and mobile coverage of the games for the South African Advertising Research Foundation.

    "The big challenge in SA is to measure out-of-home viewing of the games where people gather at one home to watch a game, and we have equipped over a 100 people with smart-phones who will be sent a survey five times a day to find out what they are doing or watching," Petra said.

    Petra feels viewership of the World Cup games will differ from other sporting events overseas in that there will be less online coverage. "Again, SA does not have the infrastructure to support video streaming or mobile streaming," she said.

    Measuring of viewership had become increasingly difficult, she said. This was because technology had increased, people's viewing habits were changing, there was greater media convergence and cross-media behaviour, and more use was being made of personal video recorders.

  • Until recently, the only free-to-air channel available in Cape Verde was the Government-run TCV. However, recently a new private channel called Tiver has been available on a test basis since late last year in the island’s capital Praia. But there is uncertainty about whether it will start full commercial operation as its backers have had difficulty raising the required finance.

    The islands that make up Cape Verde are a challenge to free-to-air broadcasters because although by African standards, the islanders are relatively affluent, there are only around half a million of them. Only around 60% of the population have televisions but TCV’s signal reaches 86% of the population. There has been no discussion of the transition to DTT.

    The main alternative to the state-run TCV are two Pay-TV channels. The first of these is Zap TV, owned by CV Telecom, a Portugal Telecom subsidiary, offered as IPTV: it has between 5-6,000 subscribers. The second is a Chinese company that has between 3-4,000 subscribers. There one million Cap Verdians in the diaspora who follow events back home through news websites and downloads from TCV’s site.

  • The Forum for Democratic Change has announced that it has bought two existing radio stations following a government decision to deny the party a licence to set up its own. The decision to buy the radio stations was taken by FDC National Executive Committee, the highest decision-making organ of the party.

    The announcement was made by FDC president, Dr Kizza Besigye last week while meeting party delegates from Mityana District, who demanded to know which action the party would take against Tropical FM for denying their leader a platform.

    Dr Besigye had paid Shs200,000 for a one hour programme from 7.00am to 8.00pm but the station management abruptly cancelled the programme, citing an order from Mubende District Resident District Commissioner Nsubuga Bewayo. The delegates also asked Dr Besigye to explain why it was taking long for the Shs190 million party radio station donated by Americans to go on air.

    In response, Dr Besigye said: "We asked for a licence but the government has been delaying the process. When we pressured them [government] they told us that they had stopped issuing licences because the airwaves were full."

    He added: "But we had plan B in case the official channels failed. As we were pressuring the government to give us a licence, we were also planning other tactics of acquiring a radio, and I am happy plan B worked. "I can now tell you that we have acquired two radio stations. One is on air now and another will be on air within a month."

    Dr Besigye said he cannot reveal the identities of the radio stations because he does not want them to suffer what he called the "CBS fate" The government took CBS, a largely Buganda kingdom-owned radio, off the airwaves on September 10 last year, accusing it of inciting riots in and around Kampala during which at least some 27 people died.

    The Uganda Broadcasting Council Chairman, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, told Daily Monitor yesterday that FDC will not be allowed to own radio stations, adding that if the council identifies the two radio stations, they will be switched-off.

    "We do not licence radio stations owned by parties," Mr Mutabazi said, adding: "The Electronic Media Act does not say anything like that and we are not going to allow anything like that." He added: "You do not just sell a radio station like selling a cake," Mr Mutabazi said. "The rules are clear, the council must know the seller and the new owner of a station before it is sold."

    The Monitor

  • - New South African Pay-TV operator ODM will make a soft launch of its services at the beginning of April.

    - Based in Paris and run by Eritrean exile journalists, Radio Erena has been operating for the past nine months. Broadcasting by satellite to Eritreans in Eritrea and on the Internet to the Eritrean diaspora, the station serves as an independent news source for a country where press freedom is non-existent and anyone straying from the official line is severely punished. This original project is supported by Reporters Without Borders. Watch the Radio Erena presentation video (

    - Intel is considering running commercials during coverage of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, to be played in South Africa from June 11 to July 11. This is part of Intel advert campaign which joins the most notable trends on Madison Avenue, NYC so far this year: the embrace of so-called big event television by advertisers, which are seeking to run commercials during the live coverage of major programs like the Grammys, the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the Academy Awards.


  • On Digital Media (ODM) has finally announced details of its multi-channel television brand TopTV. It offers the first real alternative to the DSTv monopoly. The service will see a staggered roll-out from May 2010 with pricing options ranging from R99 to R249 per month. It will be targeted at customers in LSM5-8.

    The offering will include:

    Christian Channels

    * Top Gospel: It is a Christian lifestyle channel with talk shows, Christian music videos as well as faith based movies.

    * God TV: It is a global media ministry founded by South African couple, Rory & Wendy Alec.

    * Christian Channel: ODM is still finalizing negotiations on a Christian Channel, which will be announced in due course.

    * Inspiration: It has become the fastest growing international Christian network in the world.

    Movie Channels (excludes ‘Premium Channels’)

    * Zee Cinema brings Bollywood movies to your TV screens.

    * Hi Nolly (from HiTV) features some of the best movies and entertainment from the Nigerian market.

    * MGM: A 24 hour movie channel offering the best from Hollywood’s famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library.

    News Channels

    * BBC World (also available on DStv), Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera (also available on DStv) France24 and Current TV. The latter happenings and current affairs, particularly from a youth perspective.

    Sport Channels (excludes ‘Premium Channels’)

    * Setanta Africa: It is a 24-hour sports channel which focuses on the ‘beautiful game’. The sports channel covers Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Tottenham in its weekly line up, as well as SPL, Russian and Dutch leagues.

    * Eurosport News: With news bulletins updated every 30 minutes, Eurosport News gives you the very latest from the world of sports and business.

    * Fuel is a 24/7 extreme sports channel featuring base-jumping, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX and other death-defying sports.

    Entertainment Channels (excludes ‘Premium Channels’)

    * Top One is a 24-hour general entertainment channel, bringing drama series, children’s shows, movies and South African classics.

    * Fox Entertainment is dedicated to the best television series, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, 24, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds and Boston Legal.

    * Fox Retro is an entertainment channel dedicated to the most popular series that defined the 70s, 80s and 90s, which helped shape the pop culture and trends of today.

    Terrestrial channels:

    SABC 1, SABC 2, SABC 3, E-TV

    * Educational Channel

    ODM is finalizing discussions for the supply of an educational channel customized for the South African market. An announcement will be made when talks are concluded.

    * BET: Black Entertainment Television’ features the very best from African-American entertainers with series, talk-shows, sitcoms and interviews.

    * RTPi is a general entertainment channel targeting Portuguese speaking communities worldwide.

    Lifestyle Channels

    * Star is an entertainment channel covering the glitz and glamour of Tinsel Town. Keep up to date with the latest in movies, celebrities, fashion, awards and Hollywood news on Star!

    * Fashion TV provides glamorous entertainment with emphasis on the latest trends, up and coming models, events, news and glamour.

    * Fine Living Network is TV’s fun lifestyle network with a fresh lineup of new relationship, wedding, cocktail and competition shows

    Kids and Music Channels

    * Top Junior provides high quality and creative entertainment for children and the entire family in a highly imaginative, safe and accessible way. Popular shows to look forward to include Maya the Bee, Bumba, Tabaluga and Heidi.

    * Jim Jam is a TV channel dedicated to pre-school children aged between 1 – 6 years and their parents.

    * Baby TV is the world’s first round-the-clock commercial-free channel for growing infants and toddlers, and their parents.

    * Kidsco: Signature shows include The Wiggles, Sonic the Hedgehog, Inspector Gadget, Sabrina, Dennis the Menace, New Adventures of Madeline and many more.

    * Afro Music is a 24 hour music channel featuring an eclectic mix of artists from across Africa.

    * Nigezie is a brand new music and lifestyle channel with the main focus being on Nigerian artists, music videos, fashion and entertainment.

    * Kiss (from Kiss TV) is a 24 hour music channel with a focus on urban and hip-hop music.

    * Kerrang! TV is a 24 hour music channel consisting of hard rock music videos. The channel features themed countdowns like ‘Moshing Anthems’, ‘A-Z of Punk’, ‘Today’s 10 Most Rockin’’ and ‘Metal: 87-07’.

    * Qtv is a 24 hour music channel featuring indie bands and music.

    * Magic TV features easy listening music videos from the 80s and 90s, with a large portion of daytime viewing dedicated to ‘Today’s Magic Hits’.

    * Smash Hits is a music channel dedicated to popular hits from artists like Madonna, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

    * C Music provides viewers with the world’s finest classical, crossover, cinematic and chill-out music videos 24 hours a day.

    * Classica is a premium television channel devoted to classical music, opera, ballet and jazz as well as documentaries and interviews.

    * Music Choice (audio service) is a 24 hour channel audio service featuring music of different genres. From hip-hop and R&B, to classic rock and soul, there’s music for every mood, occasion and age


    * Natura is a 24 hour high quality documentary channel featuring documentaries from the world’s best directors and producers.

    * Top History is a 24 hour channel that offers the most memorable moments in history, with programming which includes South Africa and Africa.

    * Discovery ID is the brand new channel from Discovery featuring the stories behind crime forensics and criminal investigations.

    * Discovery Travel & Living explores the most fascinating and inspiring places on earth. The channel takes viewers to exotic and far-flung destinations.

    * Discovery Science is a documentary channel focusing on programmes dealing with scientific and technological issues

    * Top Crime is a 24 hour entertainment channel with a focus on crime drama and suspense programmes.

    * Top Explore is a 24 hour channel which allows viewers the opportunity to explore the secrets and wonders of the world. Featuring strong stories, interesting people and high quality visuals.

    Premium Channels

    * Silver

    Silver is a 24 hour movie channel with movies sourced from independent suppliers in the US, Europe and other parts of the world.

    * Showtime

    Showtime is as 24 hour action channel with blockbuster titles covering action, horror and sci-fi.

    * Fox FX

    Fox FX is quality television for men. With a mix of quality, character-driven and often unconventional drama and comedy, it has a strong resonance with male audiences.

    * Top Movies

    Top Movies is one of Top TV’s flagship channels. A 24 hour premium movie channel with recently released blockbuster titles and other award-winning movies.

    * Top Movies 2

    Top Movies 2 is Top Movies time shifted by 2 hours. If you miss your favourite movie catch it 2 hours later on Top Movies 2.

    * Top Movies 24

    Top Movies 24 is time shifted by 24 hours. The channel gives the viewer the opportunity to catch up on Top Movies from the previous day.

    * Top Sport

    Top Sport is a premium sports channel featuring sports preferred by SA audiences. It will bring South Africans the best of local and international sport as well as the latest sporting news

  • "Signs of our Times" - the new Ikon South Africa short documentary series is back on SABC 2 and brings viewers a compelling collection of short films from South Africa, Africa and the world. Thirty films from Paraguay, India, Finland, Brazil, Sweden, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa and Belgium, stories that cross continents and bring together a multitude of voices and filmmakers on this exciting broadcast platform. Make a date with Ikon. The world on your screen. Every Sunday at 21:00 on SABC 2 from 14th March 2010." Upcoming episodes:

    •Episode 2 Sunday 21st March 2010, 21h00, SABC 2

    Features: Khonexted (SOUTH AFRICA), Beloved Thandiwe (SOUTH AFRICA), Shades of Grey (SOUTH AFRICA), Slaves (SUDAN), The Life of a Bada Sahib (Big Boss) (INDIA)

    •Episode 3 Sunday 28th of March 2010, 21h00, SABC 2

    Features: Missing Kids (SOUTH AFRICA), Victim/Survivor (SOUTH AFRICA), A Kosovo Fairytale (FINLAND), Mr Eddy’s dream for Lagos (NIGERIA), Body British Heart Hindustani (INDIA)

    •Episode 4 Sunday 4th April 2010, 21h00, SABC 2

    Features: Imam and I (SOUTH AFRICA), 16 Cleats (SWEDEN), A Trinity of Being (SOUTH AFRICA), Pineapples for Sale (SOUTH AFRICA), The Talking Camera (INDIA)

    •Episode 5 Sunday 11th April 2010, 21h00, SABC 2

    Features: Intshallah: The show must go on( SOUTH AFRICA), Intersection (SOUTH AFRICA), Ms Hemelatha (INDIA), Finding Stillness (UGANDA)

    •Episode 6 Sunday 18th April 2010, 21h00, SABC 2

    Features: Unfinished Business (SOUTH AFRICA), The Wheels of the Bus (ZIMBABWE),Ratkaiseva päätös (FINLAND), Circles (SOUTH AFRICA)

    For more information email: IKON South Africa (info @ or call +27 21 933 1514 , Cell: +27 82 355 3645

  • - Global media have reported that Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry might well be the largest producer of videos and the second or third film producer in the world, churning out some 200 videos for the home video market every month... Nigerian films are currently receiving wider distribution – in the USA for example - as Nigerian producers and directors are attending more internationally acclaimed film festivals. However, most of these films are in English or in regional languages, and a few production houses are now looking to translate the best of them into Spanish, German and French.

    - Nu Metro will open the first all-digital cinema complex in Africa, according to content executive for Nu Metro Cinemas, Mark Harris, this week in the Emporium at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa. The six-screen multiplex, owned and operated by Nu Metro Cinemas, is part of the redevelopment at the entertainment venue. The cinema multiplex also has 3D cinemas, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, stadium seating, bar and lounge facilities, a combination of beanbags to top end seating and one of the largest cinemas in Africa known as the Pantheon - featuring 517 leather VIP seats.


  • The government owned media outlet, ORINFOR, has been called upon to establish the needs of the audience it serves by conducting an audience survey.

    The call was made by the Director General in the Ministry of Information, Ignatius Kabagambe, during a meeting to validate the organisation's five-year business and strategic plan.

    "It is an immediate priority for ORINFOR to conduct an audience survey to know the needs of the audience and package their content accordingly," Kabagambe said.

    He urged the ORINFOR staff to put discipline and commitment first, if the plan is to be realized.

    The Strategic Plan was developed with the support from the Public Sector Capacity Building Secretariat (PSCBS), under the auspices of the World Bank. It is envisaged that the Plan will provide ORINFOR with a framework to becoming financially sustainable and competitive in the region.

    The Acting Director General of ORINFOR, Willy Rukundo, highlighted the need for the institution to change its way of conducting business. "ORINFOR needs to be at the forefront, more interactive with its audiences, and with enhanced capacity to produce quality information through multi-media channels," he reiterated.

    During the meeting, some participants highlighted the need to change the name of the institution from ORINFOR to Rwanda Broadcasting Network (RBN) as one way of re-branding the institution.

    Some of the new initiatives that ORINFOR could embark on to generate more revenue, according to participants, would be through advertising, more newspaper sales in the region, transmitter rental, commercial printing, production of local programmes, charging of nominal fees to access TV online and equipment hire.

    In a related development, Rukundo said that Rwanda Television was now being accessed on the Internet worldwide. He reported that although the project had started in mid February, about 80,000 people have already visited the website.

    He was optimistic that this new initiative would promote ORINFOR's efforts to embrace modern technologies. ORINFOR oversees Radio Rwanda, Rwanda Television and two newspapers - Imvaho Nshya and La Nouvelle Releve.

  • Ster-Kinekor Theatres is opening its first cinema multiplex in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, as part of the company's strategy to expand into Africa. The new six-cinema complex in the Lesotho capital of Maseru houses almost 1000 seats and Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO Fiaz Mahomed is upbeat about the new venture:

    "We believe the time is right to extend our brand into more African countries, and given Lesotho's proximity to us, it made perfect sense to do so there," said Mahomed.

    "With the number of high-tech and visually-driven action and sci-fi blockbusters coming out of Hollywood, cinema is experiencing a renaissance; with consumers hungry for the big screen experience where everything is larger than life. But they want comfort, quality and convenience thrown into the equation as well - which Ster-Kinekor Theatres has built its reputation on."

    Mahomed added that by keeping ticket prices low - M15 (or R15) for all shows at the Maseru multiplex - the cinema experience would be accessible to all. VIP seats will also be available at M40/R40 apiece.

    The Ster-Kinekor complex, located in Pioneer Mall, will be formally launched on 10 March with a premiere of the sports drama The Blind Side, for which Sandra Bullock picked up the Best Actress Oscar earlier this week. On the following day - Thursday, 11 March - Lesotho film fans will be able to see movies at an opening special of M10 (R10) before reverting to the normal prices.

    Among the films launching the complex is the Oscar-winning epic Avatar, as well as the celebrated children's movie The Princess and the Frog. Bookings may be made through the cinema box-office. Ster-Kinekor currently operates cinemas in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

  • - The DTI and the NFVF recently met with the Cape Film Commission and industry leaders in Cape Town to discuss possible changes to the DTI Film rebate scheme as well as the addition of a 1% development levy on qualifying productions above R10 million. The NFVF stated that this development fund which they will administer will be primarily used to help stimulate and grow the local film industry.

    - The Cape Film Commission (CFC) and the Western Cape film industry, in partnership with the Services Seta, have committed themselves to create a strong animation and new media industry and to this end they have pledged their support to help facilitate the creation of 10,000 jobs by 2030 within the Animation Industry. The Animation Academy in Khayelitsha will help to propel Cape Town and the Western Cape into becoming a Creative and Innovative hub.

regulation & policy

  • RWB published on 4 March 2010 : Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that local retransmission of the French TV news station France 24 resumed yesterday in Côte d’Ivoire after the National Council for Audiovisual Communication (CNCA), which is responsible for regulating broadcasting, decided to rescind the suspension order it issued on 22 February.

    “This satisfactory outcome ends a week in which Ivoirians were deprived of a major international news source,” the press freedom organisation said.

    After the CNCA met in extraordinary session on 2 March in the evening, its secretary-general announced “the lifting of the precautionary measure suspending France 24’s signal.” Local retransmission resumed at around 7.00 pm local time yesterday.

    The CNCA said in a statement that the decision to lift the suspension was taken after a France 24 representative “pledged to take measures so that news about Côte d’Ivoire are handled in a more professional manner.” The statement added that “the undertakings were confirmed in a letter from France 24’s management to the CNCA on 26 February.” When the CNCA announced the suspension on 22 February, it accused France 24 of covering local news “in a biased and unprofessional manner.”

  • South Africa’s communications regulator, ICASA is looking at implementing a regulatory framework for IPTV. The regulator hopes that this framework will speed up the introduction of triple play services – voice, internet and IPTV services in the country, according to local publication Business Day.

    ICASA acknowledged that IPTV implementation was limited by broadband access in the country, currently very low. “IPTV has not taken off in South Africa although there is considerable interest from a range of stakeholders, including current owners of broadcasting and electronic communication licences. As stated, more emphasis will be placed on the regulation of non-linear services”, reads the discussion document issued on IPTV framework.

    Furthermore, the organization argues that the biggest impediment would be the high tariffs charged by operators for broadband access, adding that in Europe, for example, IPTV could expand easily as a result of high speed broadband internet access at affordable prices.

    “International precedence shows that in addition to developing forward looking broadband policies, regulators also intervened in the broadband market by regulating the rates at which broadband internet access services are provided”, stated ICASA representatives.

    To facilitate public discussion, ICASA has conducted an international benchmark exercise, analyzing how regulators in Europe, America and Asia have adopted IPTV regulations.

    In Canada, IPTV and VOD (Video On Demand) were classified as broadcasting services and regulated under the category of broadcasting distribution companies and are issued a broadcasting license. On the other side, in South Africa, there are no such regulations in place.

    According to the Department of Communications, the national broadband policy has to ensure that all citizens benefit from affordable broadband.

  • - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has clarified and amended the Invitation To Apply (ITA) for regional commercial radio stations.

    - The Government of Swaziland has launched a Swaziland Communications Commission Draft Bill 2009 to regulate the broadcasting sector in the country. Once the Bill becomes law, the Commission will among other things, issue licences to TV and radio broadcasters. The Bill provides for a six-member commission that includes the Chief Executive Officer to carry out the functions of the commission. The members are all appointed by the Minister of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), according to the Bill.

    - An angry crowd of mourners attending a mass funeral in Dogo Nahawa, central Nigeria, assaulted state radio reporter Murtala Sani on Monday. Sani, a reporter for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, was assigned to cover the funeral of more than 40 people killed during a bloody March 7 attack on four villages in central Nigeria.

technology & convergence

  • The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has embarked on a project to migrate its video recordings to high-resolution digital video files for the purpose of ensuring the long-term preservation of these unique records. This new development aims at enabling the Tribunal to permanently preserve the recordings which are expected to be 30,000 hours long at the end of the ICTR's mandate.

    Recently, therefore, the Tribunal entered into a contract with the internationally renowned Front Porch Digital (FPD) to conduct the digitization of the video recordings. FPD is a global leader in the migration and preservation of video tape to digital files, and is dedicated to developing technical solutions for the preservation, access and management of digital content.

    The Tribunal has since 1999 produced video recordings of its trial proceedings. However video tape is subject to deterioration over time thus the need to transfer the video recordings to a new medium.

    The digitization of the video recordings of the ICTR is part of a larger project undertaken by the ICTR to ensure the long-term preservation and to enhance the accessibility of the audio-visual recordings of the trial proceedings. Also conducted within the framework of this project is the in-house digitization of master audio recordings of the trial proceedings.

    The process will also enhance the accessibility of these video recordings to the users of the ICTR's archives, while also ensuring their long-term viability.

    All digital audio and video files created as a result of this project will be reviewed and edited by the Court Management Section's Audio-Visual Redaction staff. As a result, redacted versions of all recordings of the trial proceedings will be generated, which can then be made available to researchers, legal professionals, broadcasters and news agencies, the people of Rwanda, and the international community at large.

    PO Box 6016, Arusha, Tanzania

    Telephone: 1 (212) 963 2850 or 255 27 250 4367-72;

    Fax: 1 (212) 963 2848 or 255 27 250 4000/250 4373;

  • Manufacturers give details about local 3D TV release plans. Although the technology has been available for some time three dimensional projection has become a hot topic in the past year.Bolstered by 3D movies such as James Cameron’s Avatar the world appears to be taking notice of new technologies in the three dimensional realm. As a result major television manufacturers are now making the move towards releasing 3D capable units in 2010.

    South Africa has been confirmed as one of the territories for these releases with the 2010 FIFA World Cup bolstering South Africa’s as a prime destination.

    According to Andrew Fraser, Brand Manager for Sony South Africa: “South Africa will be on par with the rest of the world with regards to releasing this new technology, this is largely thanks to the input of the FIFA World Cup.”

    Although viewers must wear headsets in order to view 3D video content at home - a frustrating addition for some - it seems likely that 3D enabled flat panel televisions will grow in popularity in the coming years. Below is a local synopsis of when major LCD and Plasma manufacturers Sony, LG and Samsung plan to roll out 3D technology in South Africa.

    Since the debut of its 3D television technology in 2009, Sony has made several announcements pertaining to three dimensional content delivery to the home.

    In December the company announced that it had decided upon a final specification for its incoming Blu-ray three dimensional product range in 2010, choosing the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec to store 3D video. This will allow for a full 1080p (High Definition) frame for each eye and will only require 50% more storage capacity than 2D video content.

    Sony also revealed that its PlayStation 3 console would be forwards compatible with 3D content. This will be made possible upon launch of Sony’s 3D product range, via a firmware update.

    Company spokesperson David Barns also revealed that the company would be releasing two 3D capable models to market – namely the KDL-NX710 (40 inch and 46 inch) and the KDL-NX810 (52 inch and 60 inch) as well as 3D supporting Blu-Ray players in September 2010. Pricing details are not yet available.

    LG confirmed that their South African 3D television line up is due for release in June 2010, although pricing and model numbers are as yet unavailable.

    The company will not however be releasing 3D playback enabled Blu-Ray players to market.

    Samsung spokesperson Corrie Labuschagne has revealed that Samsung will release the C9000 3D LED TV and the C6900 3D enabled Blu-Ray player in August, adding that the local market will see Samsung 3D enabled TV’s starting from 7-series and above, C9000 being the top of the range 3D enabled panel.

    Labuschagne also confirmed that Samsung is looking towards “leading the market of 3D enabled panels” adding that he believes that the company’s 200Hz LEDs have an edge on the competition.

    Samsung’s 7 Series televisions will also include the “proprietary built-in 3D processor and emitter [which] is optimised for and compatible with multiple 3D standards including half and full HD resolution formats as well as the Blu-ray Disc Association ratified “Blu-ray 3D” standard. Pricing details are not yet available.


  • - South Africa has opened submissions from members of the public and relevant stakeholders on the Public Service Broadcasting Discussion Paper.


    * 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, quoted the 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

    Source world-class broadcasting technology providers; hardware and software vendors and meet leading industry suppliers.

    *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.

    *19-20 May 2010

    Broadcast & Film Africa 2010

    venue: Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi.

    Broadcast & Film Africa 2010 will bring together senior broadcast executives, producers, advertising agency executives, regulators and policy-makers to discuss the challenges faced by the industry over the next five years.

    *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.

    For further information visit

    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.

    *1-3 Sept 2010


    DISCOP AFRICA is the main audiovisual content distribution, programming, and coproduction conference and exhibition, which targets free and pay television services operators from 47 Sub-Saharan African countries.

    With almost 400 TV channels, 50 pay-TV platforms, 300 million mobile and 70 million Internet users, serving a population of 700 million people, with 40 million television equipped homes to be expected in the near future, content business in Sub-Saharan Africa has grown at a particularly rapid pace over the last few months.

    15 Oct. 2010

    Promax|BDA Africa 2010 annual conference

    Johannesburg, SA, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

    Established in 1955, PROMAX is the world's premier body for promotion and marketing professionals working in electronic and broadcast media. BDA is the world's leading association of broadcast and multimedia designers.

    1-5 November 2010

    Africa Media & Broadcasting Congress 2010

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre - Johannesburg

    The Africa Media and Broadcasting Congress 2010 is a dedicated forum where key stakeholders gather to share knowledge, network and find solutions that enable you to maximise revenues and profitably leverage emerging markets.

    2-3 November 2010

    IP&TV World Forum Middle East & Africa

    Jumeirah Beach Hotel – Dubai

    From Informa Telecoms & Media Conferences

    Established as the world's leading event on IPTV, this is a must-attend conference and exhibition in he diaries of all Telco, TV and content executives. IPTV has evolved and telcos pursuing a television strategy across Middle East & Africa can launch with more sophisticated television services than witnessed during early-adopter deployments in Europe and North America, with more personalisation and cross-platform, multi-screen delivery among the obvious targets. Regional telcos have the chance to demonstrate their ambition to win, and not just play, in the Pay TV marketplace.



    USA – NY City: Submissions to African Film Festival (AFF) Programs

    AFF programs year-round; Therefore, the organiser accepts submissions on an ongoing basis.

    If you are interested in having your work considered, please send a DVD screener and relevant supplementary material (director's biography, film synopsis, etc.) to:

    African Film Festival, Inc.

    154 West 18th Street, Suite 2A

    New York, New York 10011

    Last call: submission for Durban's inaugural FilmMart

    Plans for Durban's inaugural FilmMart, jointly hosted by the Durban Film Office (DFO) and Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), go up a gear as the closing date for the submission of entries approaches.

    ."We are heartened by the submissions we are receiving from entrants throughout Africa," says Toni Monty, acting CEO of the Durban Film Office. "In addition, we received significant interest from organisations and individual producers on our recent trip to the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where we launched the Durban FilmMart to the international community of producers and also established a partnership with the world-renowned Cinemart. The support for a well-structured forum giving the rest of the world access to African content and projects, is really encouraging."

    "We urge potential entrants to get their submissions in by the closing date of 29 March," says Peter Rorvik, director of the Durban International Film Festival, "as the Durban FilmMart provides a perfect entry point for African film-makers to pitch film projects to leading financiers and network with international directors and producers."

    Projects with an African citizen attached to any one of the three creative roles of writer, director or producer are eligible to participate in the Durban FilmMart. These include fiction features, animation features and documentaries suitable for international co-production and distribution.

    The Durban FilmMart is a joint project of the DFO and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and will take place during the 31st Durban International Film Festival which runs from 22 July to 1 August.

    For more information on the Durban FilmMart and project submission visit Durban Film Office website or contact Musonda Chimba on +27 31 3114248.

  • S.A. - Call for film crew

    Ever dreamt of cracking it big in the film industry? This could be your lifetime opportunity. A new ground-breaking movie soon to hit the shelves needs all the interested film people. Actors, actresses, producers, directors, cameraman, make-up artists, funders, investors etc. Email: ntandogerald @

    Rwanda: Local Journalists to Train At UK's Top Media Corporation

    Edwin Musoni reported on 11th. March 2010 in the New Times — Ten Rwandan newspaper and radio journalists will be selected to undertake a one week professional internship at News International a UK subsidiary of News Corporation that is owned by world's media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch. A team from News International is currently in the country to interview the candidates.

    News Corporation publishes the following world renowned titles; The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and News of the world.

    The project, was initiated last year in a meeting between President Paul Kagame and the Chief Executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, who expressed interest in offering training opportunities to Rwandan journalists. Speaking to The New Times, the media giant's Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager, Daisy Dunlop, revealed that her corporation will provide 10 internship vacancies to 10 Rwandan journalists.Two radio journalists will do their internship at Sky News Radio.

    The team is comprised of Dunlop, Hayley Barlow, the Public Relations Manager of News of the World, Lorna Carmichael of The Sun and Michael Binyon a lead writer of The Times.

    According to Binyon, this is the first time they are offering this kind of training and subsequent internships may be offered to Rwanda depending on the outcome of the initial one that expected to kick off next month. He said; "Rwandan media is possibly going to be the first to benefit from many opportunities within the Commonwealth since the country joined the bloc."

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