Broadcast News

The international Pay TV content channels are slowly expanding what they are doing in Africa. The two most visible prongs of this engagement are an increasing level of both local and localized production and an expanded digital offer to ensure they get profile in Africa’s social media space. Russell Southwood talked to Pierre Branco, VP and General Manager, France, Portugal and Africa about what Turner has planned in these key areas.

The Digital Lab Africa competition is an excellent initiative to encourage African talent for the new digital era, Balancing Act’s Sylvain Béletre  interviewed the initiator of the Digital Lab Africa (DLA), Frédéric Chambon, Audiovisual Attaché of the French Institute of South Africa under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.

Fruitful African Digital TV Development Seminar hosted by StarTimes concluded successfully.

The 6th African Digital TV Development Seminar, a 2-days fruitful forum on African digital migration, hosted by StarTimes came to a perfect close on June 24th, 2016 in Beijing at the Fengda International Hotel.

Exclusive Interview with Patrick Zuchowicki, director and founder of Basic Lead, the organisation behind Discop Africa, just a few days after Discop Abidjan was held from 31 May to 2 June 2016.

Africans in the city increasingly have access to a wide range of media but those in rural areas or conflict zones do not. Some areas have access to little or no media. This media deficit means that those who lack access probably understand less and have very little to measure their opinions against. Russell Southwood looks at new research from South Sudan that identifies the scale of this problem in one country.

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.