Broadcast News

Last month has seen three new broadcasting operations open in Nigeria that have pitched their tent in the online space. Not all of them may succeed but what they are offering may well shake up traditional free-to-air broadcasters as much as pay TV has over the last five years. Russell Southwood looks at the riders and runners.

The most dramatic play comes from Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper with its new launch Guardian TV:

Twentieth Century Fox has entered into an agreement to distribute its film slate in a major distribution deal with Nigeria and West Africa’s fastest growing theatrical film distribution company, FilmOne Distribution, under which FilmOne will distribute all Fox titles directly to cinemas in Nigeria and Ghana. This is the first deal of its kind in West Africa for Twentieth Century Fox.

The commercial arm of the British public broadcaster, BBC Worldwide has – after a long search – bought into South African production company Rapid Blue. Russell Southwood spoke to him this week about what the deal means.

From the BBC Worldwide side, the deal has been driven by them identifying Africa as a key market. It conducted research on how to increase their presence on the continent “in a constructive way”. It looked across the continent at a range of companies and after an 8 month dating period decided to go with Rapid Blue.

Although the English Premier League pay TV rights are seen as absolutely crucial in the battle for African Pay TV subscribers, their Free-To-Air equivalent rights have not really made the earth move for anyone. Russell Southwood looks at this new deal and how it might affect the sports viewing landscape.

The government broadcaster in Cameroon CRTV is the signal distributor for the transition to DTT and is taking the opportunity to re-invent itself with new local thematic channels and modern equipment. Balancing Act’s broadcast analyst Sylvain Beletre talked to CRTV and outlines the plans for the digital transition.

Ahmadou Djodji, MSc. Director of Transmission at CRTV, Public TV of Cameroon confirmed to Balancing Act its roadmap for the switch to digital transition subject to further changes.

TV news in Africa is an important element in the TV schedule and as a draw for audiences. But how people get their news is changing rapidly and the African broadcasters that understand the digital transition will be more competitive. Russell Southwood spoke to Timothy Spira, eNCA’s Head of the Online Division to try and sort out what will work now and in the future.

Dubai-based Moby Group is launching a new satellite entertainment channel in Ethiopia in a JV with local partners. For years the TV sector in Ethiopia was just Government channels but two satellite stations are now launching. Russell Southwood spoke to Elias Schulze, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Kana TV.

On The Money is a new premium business TV Show launched in Lagos. Balancing Act’s Sylvain Beletre interviewed Michael Akindele, founding partner of JohnRhoda Enterprise, the company behind the show.

Q. What is On The Money about?

A. On The Money is a weekly 30-minute programme providing educational, leadership, management and market value to target audiences across Africa and in the diaspora.

Netflix’s announcement that it will roll out across all of Africa came as a big and rather welcome surprise. It had already announced its intentions to go into South Africa but no-one really knew the scale of its ambition. Alongside this announcement, the pace of 4G-LTE roll-out announcements continues to increase. Balancing Act’s Senior Analyst Sylvain Beletre looks at how these two things will impact Africa’s broadcast industry.

4G progress in Africa