Broadcast News

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.

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.