Broadcast News

The Inaugural Mohamed Amin Africa Media Awards (MAAMAs) have been a mixture of topical lectures and nitty-gritty professional development workshops aimed at news providers from across the continent. Russell Southwood was one of the judges for the awards and was at the three-day event this week in Nairobi.

The MAAMAs were put on by Africa24 Media and stand as a tribute to the lasting influence of founder Salim Amin’s father, the famous news cameraman Mohamed Amin. The MAAMAs are the awards part of the event and the winners are listed by category at the end of this story.

Picture above: Christoph Limmer, Vice President, Global Sales and Commercial Development, for broadcast services at Eutelsat.

 

Eutelsat has been pretty active in providing satellite capacity to African countries, both on the telecoms and broadcast segments. As Africa rather belatedly accelerates the transition to digital TV, Eutelsat has made quite a few announcements showing that the operator is consolidating its position as the key player in that field.

Balancing Act has recorded over Africa-related 100 VoD platforms to date. New, more niche services will soon be added to this competitive segment. One of these newcomers is Hopster TV and application platform - set up on iOS, and soon on Android - which will launch across the African continent, particularly in Anglophone Africa. Balancing Act's analyst Sylvain Béletre talked to Hopster's founder and director, Nick Walters who was at MIPTV 2015.

 

With the exception of Senegal (and more recently Côte d'Ivoire), not much change has happened in the francophone broadcast sector for so long. But the long delayed transition to digital broadcasting is accelerating the move to more competitive markets. Sylvain Béletre looks at the example of Mali and picks over what the results of an audience survey in Bamako tell us about the new competition fault lines.

In June 2015 the broadcast market will be opened to new players. Abidjan is making a comeback as the business hub for Francophone Africa and looks set to become a very active TV production hub. Russell Southwood spoke to the Sales Manager, BeBlack TV about this Ivorian produced TV channel and its Pan-African ambitions.

DTT services in Africa are only available in urban areas, apart from a few exceptions. Deploying DTT in large rural areas is expensive, time consuming to install and not necessarily profitable. In the short term, the best technical alternative to cover a territory in its entirety and without delay is to use the satellite to relay the DTT signal, writes Sylvain Beletre, Balancing Act's broadcast analyst.

Marie Lora-Mungai (The XYZ Show, Ogas At The Top, Buni.tv) and Tendeka Matatu (Jerusalema, Material, Cold Harbor) have announced that they are tto merge their assets to create Restless Global. Russell Southwood spoke to Marie Lora-Mungai about this new African studio’s plans.

Restless Global will unite Matatu’s and Lora-Mungai’s existing companies Restless Talent Management, Ten10 Films (production and distribution), Buni Media (production, animation & film studios) and Buni.tv (VOD) under one umbrella.

Streamed content in Africa faces two key obstacles: data is expensive and billing is usually overly complicated. African content distributor AfricaXP has partnered with Poland’s Moben International to deliver free TV channels through Wi-Fi hot-spots in South Africa. Russell Southwood spoke to AfricaXP’s CEO Craig Kelly about how this joint approach overcomes the key obstacles.

The TV is the last of the major media devices to be connected to the digital ecosystem. As ever, there’s a battle between proprietary systems (like smart TVs) and more open hardware and software. Russell Southwood looks at the battle to control what goes into your HDMI port. HDMI what? Find out below.