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.
A smart TV is a bit like AOL at the beginning of the Internet. It wants to be able to offer you a “walled garden” of content that it has paid rights for and unlike AOL, access to the Internet for things like You Tube. Branded smart TVs are being produced by Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. In the African context, Samsung probably has the largest market share but the numbers are in the low hundreds of thousands.
Smart TVs are expensive and do not really reflect how the African 18-25 digital generation behave in the more advanced markets like Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. They are more likely to have a tablet and/or smartphone and (bandwidth willing) stream content to them. That’s fine viewing as an individual or perhaps as a couple but tough if you’ve got a wider audience.
But there are a number of devices and boxes that have begun to take off that allow you to turn your smartphone or tablet into a streaming device, putting the TV programme, film or whatever on to your TV screen. They plug into the HDMI port at the back of your TV and use Wi-Fi to allow the smartphone or tablet to stream to your screen. In effect your smartphone or tablet can be used as a remote to control the streaming.
The most high profile of these devices are: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku boxes and Xbox (360 and One). One of the cheapest of these devices is Google Chromecast which is about the size of a USB stick and costs US$45 in the UK.
Each comes with a different content package and in that really annoying way of these things it means that if you have one device you can be sure that something you want is on another device or supplier. This is irritating from a consumer point of view but from the company perspective is what differentiates each of the devices. So for example, I need an Amazon Prime subscription to be watching its specially commissioned series Transparent.
All of the above devices depend on there being fast broadband and a degree of reliability: whether you’re watching 30-60 minutes of TV or 2 hours of film, you don’t want the connection to seize up just as the story gets gripping.
So what’s all this got to with Africa? Well, as with most tech developments, they will migrate across the continent and more people will have smart TVs and TVs with HDMI ports and understand the potential. But better still there are a couple of African start-up pioneers out there looking to become the device of choice for the continent.
Sherif Abdala and Tumi Tsukudu are the two young entrepreneurs behind Live AndroidTV, a device that gives you access to the content on the XBox Media Centre. They met at Africa 2.0 and came together to work on Live Android TV.
So how do you get Live AndroidTv?:”All you need is to download the app which is available in Android 4.2 or Windows 8 and buy a device from us from between R1200-3,599 and you can start streaming content from the XBox Media Centre. And you’ll need a 1 mbps ADSL uncapped line. It’s plug and play.” The more expensive of the devices quoted here can stream full HD and supports a 3D engine.
XBox Media center is a free and open source platform which has many plug-ins and add-ons that provide access to a host of free and subscription based streaming services. They are provided and hosted by third party service provider and Live AdroidTv allows you to access some of them. You can also browse the web and play video games.
For more on this product, click on this link.
James Muir’s start-up Mediabox offers “a hardware platform that we’ve created an ecosystem on that operates on top of an Android OS.” The box is bundled with a remote with a full touchpad but like devices elsewhere can be operated using an app (android or Windows) on a smartphone or tablet. It runs both 3G and Wi-Fi so can operate in those areas where there is no immediate access to Wi-Fi. It says it will stream a variety of the best known content platforms including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
It’s a bit like the “Swiss Army penknife of this kind of device and aims to overcome the frustrations of the “this doesn’t work with that” that seem to afflict the growing digital content ecosystem. You can play movies from a USB stick, access the Internet, listen to radio and get your email.
This functionality comes at a price as the estimated retail price will be US$200. It plans to sell them throughout Africa.It is currently raising US$650,000 on Indiegogo and is hoping to have the devices on sale by June this year. The fundraising campaign closes on 4 March 2015.
Digital Content Africa: Balancing Act's web TV channel Smart Monkey TV has launched a new e-letter called Digital Content Africa. On a fortnightly basis, it covers online film, music, publishing and services and applications. We have already produced 31 issues and these can be viewed on this link.
Essential reading for those in broadcast or film. If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to email@example.com with Digital Content Africa in the title line.
Here are some examples of past issues below:
Video Clip Interviews - This week:
Get breaking news by following us on Twitter: @BalancingActAfr.
David Oyelowo and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o are in negotiations to star in Queen Of Katwe, a pic based on the true story about the rise of a young African chess prodigy. Mira Nair is directing the pic in a reteam with her Reluctant Fundamentalist scribe William Wheeler, who penned the script. Disney is eyeing a spring shooting start.
Katwe is based on Tim Crothers’ 2011 ESPN The Magazine article and subsequent book The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, And One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream Of Becoming A Grandmaster. It tells the story of Phiona Mutesi, who emerged out of a slum in Uganda to reach the World Chess Olympiad with the help and belief of her coach-mentor Robert Katende. Oyelowo, who’s up for a Golden Globe this weekend, will play Katende. Nyong’o will play Harriet Mutesi, Phiona’s young mother.
John Carls and longtime Nair collaborator Lydia Dean Pilcher are producing in association with ESPN Films. I’m hearing the true-life Cinderella story will be budgeted around $15M.
It would be the second film together for Oyelowo, who’s riding the wave of his breathtaking turn as Martin Luther King Jr in Paramount’s Selma, and Nyong’o, last year’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for 12 Years A Slave. Both are attached to the feature adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah, the love story of two young immigrant Nigerians as their lives span continents. (Like Selma and 12 Years, that in-development project is from Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner’s Plan B.)
Oyelowo is up for a bunch of best actor awards for playing King on his 1965 Alabama civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, including at Sunday’s Globes. Nyong’o is in Disney’s upcoming Star Wars movie and also is the voice of Raksha in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.
Queen Of Katwe will be shot in South Africa and Uganda, the latter where Nair lives and runs the Maisha Film Labs, a film training initiative to give aspiring filmmakers there the tools and knowledge to tell their own stories through film and eventually create a local industry there. Nair’s 1991 film Mississippi Masala was shot on location in Kampala.
Source: Film Maker Africa 13 January 2015
Africa’s most talked about talk show is about to complete its first season and The Scoop is here to stay. Salim Amin has spent the last 13 weeks flying around Africa, interviewing some of the most inspiring success stories on our continent. From flight attendant turned powerhouse journalist Jeff Koinange, to sought after but not a bride super entrepreneur Sophia Bekele, to Club music superstar peace activist African investor Akon, Salim has heard from some pretty amazing people.
Heading into Season 2, Salim introduces you to more incredible personalities! Look out for Sherlock Holmes star Jude Law, Photographer/Rabble Rouser Boniface Mwangi, Billionaire with dark secret Heshan de Silva, Serial Entrepeneur/African Leadership Network/African Leadership Academy founder Fred Swaniker, and Congolese heartthrob/concert hero Lexxus Legal, as 2015 gets exciting from the very start.
If you haven’t grown to appreciate, or even love, Salim’s easy-going style and poignant observations, you still have time to get scopped and join the fun. Get advice from Africa’s innovators/movers and shakers/people with their hands on the levers of power, and find out the story behind their rise to fame. The show will always have you “hooked” to the end to find out “The Scoop”, as guests reveal something about themselves few, if any, know.
It’s already been a hot 2014 on The Scoop. 2015 should be sweltering. Don’t miss the program every week on TV Continental channel 523 hosted on ZUKU, and channel 307 hosted on Star Times on Saturday at 0930 CAT with 14 repeats from Sunday to Friday; VoxAfrica channel 191 hosted on DSTV and channel 824 hosted on ZUKU on Thursday at 2000 UK time with repeats on Monday at 1715 UK time and Wednesday at 2100 UK time; WBS Uganda channel 28 hosted on ZUKU and Star TV platforms will be on air on Sundays at 1930; KBC Kenya is a new partner airing The Scoop on prime-time at 2000 every Sunday, and 23 other African broadcasters around the Continent receive the show from our distribution partner Canal France International (CFI).You can also catch The Scoop on-line at Africaspeaks4africa.org , Africa.com, capitalfm.co.ke and a24media.com.
And for a special look at what you missed during the filming of The Scoop, log on to our website, at www.a24media.com and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Scoop-with-Salim-Amin/676713985697182 for excerpts that didn’t air on the 30-minute program. You’ll get even more juicy tidbits and thrilling anecdotes from Africa’s great minds.
Source: Company Press Release
Scatzy.com is open for business and able to provide 5000 library facilities and 120 million library cardholders in the USA and Canada with film and television content from South Africa. We will drive South Africans in the Diaspora to your content.
www.Scatzy.com a marketing and social media extension and content home portal to reach our very comprehensive database of South Africans (all around the world), this obviously provides huge opportunities for content owners.
Many people living outside of their country of birth (also known as the Diaspora) constantly yearn for familiar media content. We aim to be their home away from home!
Scatzy is a portal for the systematic distribution of content to various Diaspora from around the world and will be appealing to both viewers and content owners.
We aim to be the “one stop shop” for outreach to all things content related (movies, TV shows, documentaries, books and music) from a home country to bringing viewers great stuff from back home!
Our focus lies on providing a cost-effective and synergized portal to both content-seekers and owners of content and to provide these owners with the required infrastructure and traffic to reach their country-folk, now residing or travelling elsewhere in the world. Additionally, our revenue model and payment protocols will provide excellent revenue to content owners and our strategy cuts through the traditional VoD “aggregation” model to a very unique pay-per-view system.
Through our extensive and varied networks and social campaigns we are able to provide a very valuable and important additional revenue stream to content owners and our advantageous participation opportunity provides every marketing savvy content owner with a potentially big financial upside.
The IMF reports that around 5% of the global population resides outside of their country of birth.
Our focus is to reach those groups that still have a defined link to their country of birth and still have an interest in content from back home.
At the same time, content owners all around the world are seeking additional distribution channels to reach untapped markets – a natural extension for them is the diaspora. However, in this day and age, systematic aggregation is rarely synchronized to facilitate more than one media type in one platform or service.
With the immediate market penetration of 120 million potential clients and a dedicated marketing campaign around a more specific audience – in this case the South African Diaspora, all the content owners find Scatzy a very appealing proposition.
Our immediate focus is to roll out content from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand by February 2014 and to expand to all other English speaking countries by mid 2014 and all Spanish speaking countries by the end of 2016. We have also had interest in our services from content owners in China and Russia.
Contact: Anton Nel
The Jozi Film Festival 2015 will open with the film Love the One You Love, directed by Jenna Cato Bass. This will be the Johannesburg premiere of the film which first screened at Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014, and went on to win Best South African Feature Film, Best Direction in a South African Feature Film, and Best Actress (Chi Mhende). The film marks the directorial debut of Bass.
Choosing to work without a script, Bass cast a diverse ensemble of professionals and non-actors, improvising all the scenes within the high-concept narrative, resulting in exceptional performances and rapid-fire dialogue. The film was shot on location in Cape Town.
Born out of a desire to pioneer a new kind of South African independent film, Love the One You Love proves that nano-budgets and big ideas can co-exist in a country still looking for its cinematic voice.
The Jozi Film Festival 2015 has been extended by a day due to the high volume of worthy submissions received, and will now run from 19 to 22 February at The Bioscope Independent Cinema and Ster Kinekor’s Rosebank Nouveau.
For more information visit the Jozi Film Festival website.
Airtel and Trace International have crowned Benjamin Webi as the winner of the Airtel TRACE Music Star competition, Kenya edition. Webi beat Phyllis Mwihaki who was second and Trina Mungai bagging the third position.
Benjamin Webi took home the first prize of over Kshs 2.7 million (Euro 25,000) in cash and an iPhone 6 Plus, while Phyllis who came in at a close second took home Kshs. 100,000 and an iPhone 6 Plus. Trina Mungai wrapped up the top three with a cash prize of Kshs. 50,000 and an iPhone 6.
Webi will represent Kenya against other contestants from 12 countries presence (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo B, DRC, Gabon) in the Airtel TRACE Music Star Pan African competition which is set to take place in March this year. If wins overall,Webi will bring home a recording deal with Kon Live, a distributed label through Universal Music Group, and an intense mentorship Programme with Akon in the United States of America.
While expressing his excitement, Webi said, “ I didn’t expect to get to this level knowing that it would be that competitive but thanks to the judges, thousands of Kenyans who voted for me, I made it; I am the first winner of the Airtel TRACE Music Star Kenya edition. I can’t wait to get to the next level.
Presentation.While congratulating Webi and the six finalists for their hard work, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “Airtel TRACE Music Star is all about making dreams come true and giving aspiring stars a chance to shine! At Airtel, we are passionate about creating credible platforms that celebrate and reward young talented people. We would like to thank TRACE TV for their support that enabled us to showcase the wealth of talent that exists within our country. The fans voted, the judges loved him and the audience applauded! Congratulations to Webi and we wish him the very best in the next level”.
The Pan-African competitions will be held in March this year where the overall winner will walk away with a prize of 30, 000 Euros, a recording deal with Kon Live, a distributed label through Universal Music Group, and an intense mentorship Programme with Akon in the United States of America.
At a computer in Bamako, Mali, Manny Ansar couldn’t help smiling. A reporter had asked by e-mail whether Ansar — the co-founder and director of Mali’s Festival in the Desert — had seen “The Last Song Before the War,” a documentary about the festival’s 2011 edition, directed by Kiley Kraskouskas of Falls Church, Va.
In fact, he watches it often. Hence his smile, which he mentioned, e-mailing back in French.
Ansar noted that “The Last Song Before the War” is by no means the only substantial film about the festival, which is currently in exile following violent developments in northern Mali in 2012. So far, “there have been at least a half dozen” films, not counting smaller documentary programs, Ansar said.
“But honestly,” he added, speaking of “Last Song,” “this film is, for me, the most complete. Unlike others filmed around the same time, it is entirely focused on the festival itself. It touched on every aspect of the festival — its origins, its day-to-day content, even the geographical steps involved in getting there, without ever forgetting the politico-social context” of the festival’s 2011 incarnation.
A visually rich concert film, featuring performances by musicians such as Vieux Farka Touré and Tinariwen, supplemented by interviews with Ansar and others, “Last Song” traveled the festival circuit in 2013 and 2014. This month sees a planned release on DVD and via Vimeo on Demand.
The scheduled release comes four years after the “Last Song” team traveled to the festival on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Kraskouskas’s co-producers — Leola Calzolai-Stewart and Andrea Papitto — had spent time in Mali and were interested in documenting the festival, which launched in 2001.
About a year after the shoot, in 2012, Islamist militants (originally aligned with Tuareg rebels) took over swaths of northern Mali, banning more or less all music and driving many musicians into exile. A 2013 French military intervention helped Mali’s government push the Islamist militants back, and there have been peace negotiations with Tuareg separatists, but instability and sporadic violence have continued in the country’s north. Although the 2012 edition of the festival took place (Bono was there), subsequent iterations did not, ceding to traveling “Festival in Exile” and “Cultural Caravan for Peace” programming in locations around the world.
DSTV has announced the premiere of an exciting new Nigerian telenovella dubbed, Hotel Majestic on Africa Magic. The telenovella will air every weekday on Africa Magic at 10pm (Kenyan Time).
Hotel Majestic focuses on the Emeni family as they fight one another and the outside world to protect a hotel that has been in their family for decades. The Hotel, which is situated in a beautiful and flawless riverside community in Nigeria, has been in the family since the late 1800’s and is currently run by two great- great grandchildren of the original owner.
The Regional Director, M-Net (West), Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu says: “Hotel Majestic is yet another addition to the exciting content line up on Africa Magic. This new and exciting telenovella features a fresh storyline and the cast, an impressive mix of established and up and coming names in Nollywood, brings to life all the intrigue, suspense, ambition, betrayal and love that make it a must watch.“
Hotel Majestic boasts a stellar cast which includes renowned industry names like Sadiq Daba, Gloria Young, Tina Mba, Oge Okoye, Bukky Ajayi and Anne Njemanze. The telenovella also features Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) nominee Ivie Okujaye in the lead role as Alero.
Hotel Majestic premiered on the 5th of January, 2015 and airs weekdays at 10pm (Kenyan time) on Africa Magic Showcase (Dstv channel 151).
Source: Techmoran 10 January 2015
Kenya's newly launched free-to-view television platform, Bamba TV, has signed on the Italian men's football league, Serie A. Bamba TV will now screen a major weekly match free of charge on its digital TV. The agreement was signed with MP & Silva, the international TV rights holders for the Italian league. Bamba TV is a free to view platform with no monthly subscription fee. It includes cartoon, news, documentary, movies, sports ,telenovela and religious channels.
A new pay TV service provider, African Cable Television (ACTV), began operating in Nigeria on 1 December 2014, with fashion, music and lifestyle channels represented by 3Vision Distribution in its programming bouquet. The launch of ACTV signifies a growing number of operators in Nigeria’s pay TV industry which provide West African communities with access to a wide range of television entertainment.
Mike McKibbin, 3Vision Distribution’s international sales and marketing director said, “We are delighted to be working with ACTV and their launch of five of our channels represents the continuing popularity of lifestyle, entertainment and music channels in Africa and confirms the appeal of 3Vision Distribution’s suite of channels not just in Nigeria, but in the region as a whole.”
ACTV offers customers four pay-TV packages: ACTV prime, ACTV family, ACTV family max and ACTV premium. The channels provided by 3Vision Distribution are: Fashion One, Motorvision HD, FABtv, plus Magic and Smash Hits music channels from BOX TV International.
Godfrey Orkeh, managing director and chief executive officer of ACTV said, “We believe that ACTV customers will spend this end of year season with an expanded choice of TV channels covering motoring, African fashion, fitness and beauty and popular music from international artists. It represents entertainment for all the family and, of course, friends and relatives.”
As a Global Ministry, GOD TV provides daily Christian content to millions of viewers on the African continent, broadcasting from Jerusalem where its Broadcast HQ is situated. The television channel operates on a 24-hour basis and presents world-class programming for the whole family.
ViewSat works in partnership with new channels from initial set-up through to distribution of content making sure that customers feel fully supported along the way. Whilst GOD TV is a global television network with over 264 million connected homes, GOD TV Africa has been expanding its footprint on the continent to over 20 million connected homes since it was launched in 2002.
ViewSat has played a significant role to ensure GOD TV Africa reaches their broadcasting goal of having world-class programming in every television household in Africa. ViewSat not only provided the technical support to do this, but has also played an important role in GOD TV Africa's marketing and awareness campaigns through West Africa, as well as in South Africa. One of the significant ways ViewSat helped was by marketing GOD TV on their promo channel, which introduced GOD TV to countless new viewers.
The platform enables people across Africa to receive GOD TV through a standard dish and free-to-air decoder. This makes the 24-hour channel available and easily accessible in all corners of the continent.
Marcel Olivier, Regional Director of GOD TV Africa comments: "ViewSat has helped GOD TV Africa reach new viewers around the continent and their assistance with our marketing campaigns has been invaluable. This has meant that we are expanding our presence in countries that we were not able to reach previously. They have served us in various ways to reaching our goals. We are pursuing new avenues in West Africa and ViewSat plays an integral part of this new development."
The BBC will bring extensive coverage of the 30th Africa Cup of Nations staged in Equatorial Guinea. Comprehensive coverage on radio, TV, online and mobile will also feature specially commissioned reports on key players, teams and matches.
BBC’s football experts will be reporting from the four host cities – Bata, Ebebiyin, Malabo and Mongomo – following the progress of all 16 teams from the group stages in January through to the final on 8 February 2015.
Every moment in the tournament will be captured by the BBC’s team of experts. Audiences will be able to follow the action with regular updates and analysis of each game. On Saturday 17 January the opening game between Equatorial Guinea and Congo at the National Stadium will be broadcast in English and French. BBC World Service will bring commentary on key matches to listeners in Africa from the quarter finals, semi-finals and final in English, French on BBC Afrique, and BBC Swahili.
Mobile users will have the opportunity to get expert analysis via live text commentary for all of the key games.
BBC sports journalists will be linking up with BBC World Service’s rebroadcasting partner stations across Africa to give expert analysis on the competition.
Radio listeners across Africa and worldwide will be able to follow the latest developments and analysis on all three editions (1500, 1700 and 1900 GMT) of Focus on Africa radio. Match reports will feature in various programmes across BBC Afrique, BBC Hausa, BBC Somali, BBC Gahuza (in Kinyarwanda/Kirundi) and BBC Swahili.
Newsday on BBC World Service radio will have extended sports coverage each morning from 0500 GMT while Sportsworld, Sport Today and World Football will provide additional coverage of what has become one of the premier tournaments in world football.
The BBC’s TV programme for Africa, Focus on Africa, available on BBC World News and broadcast by a range of TV stations across Africa, will report on every stage of the tournament. The BBC Swahili TV programme Dira Ya Dunia will bring in-depth reporting from the competition, and be rebroadcast by partner stations in Africa.
The Africa Cup of Nations will also be reported by the newly launched BBC Afrique and BBC Hausa TV bulletins available via bbcafrique.com, bbchausa.com and rebroadcasting TV channels.
EbonyLife TV, Africa's first global black entertainment and lifestyle network, will soon be available to viewers in Canada. Ethnic Channels Group Limited, a leading provider of non-English language digital TV channels to Canada's multicultural population, has acquired the distribution rights for EbonyLife TV, a broad entertainment channel which they believe will appeal to the African audience living in Canada.
Slava Levin, co-founder and CEO of Ethnic Channels Group Limited said,"As Ethnic Channels Group continues to expand to new markets, it is a privilege to bring EbonyLife TV to the African diaspora in Canada."
Mo Abudu, executive chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TVcommented, "We are very excited about bringing the EbonyLife TV channel to African viewers and lovers of African entertainment programming in general, to Canada. We are proud to be extending our frontiers in line with our vision to be the preferred global network for premium African entertainment. We are very confident that our viewers in Canada will enjoy our 100% home-grown content."
"The African market in Canada is the next growth engine, and we are confident that EbonyLife TV will herald a new era", added Hari Srinivas, president of Ethnic Channels Group Limited.
Source: Screen Africa 14 January 2015
Twelve-year old Zuriel Oduwole recently made history when she became the youngest person in the world to have her documentary screened in a commercial movie theatre. Oduwole, a Nigerian native residing in Los Angeles, is also the youngest person of African descent to be listed on the 100 Most Influential Africans list in 2013 alongside three Presidents. She was also the youngest person in the world to be profiled in Forbes Magazine at the age of 10. The inspiring young female showed her newest documentary titled A Promising Africa at the Film House Cinema chain in Lagos in November 2014. The documentary will be screened in London this month, January 2015, and a limited and early release is scheduled for later in the year.
Pay TV revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa will reach USD 6.22 billion in 2020, up from 3.54 billion in 2014 and 1.92 billion in 2010, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. Excluding South Africa, pay TV revenues climbed from USD 0.83 billion in 2010 to 1.73 billion in 2014 and will reach USD 4.12 billion in 2020.The fourth edition of the Digitial TV Sub-Saharan Africa report forecasts that South Africa and Nigeria will contribute more than half of the region's pay TV revenues by 2020 for the 34 countries covered.
Second-placed Nigeria will more than double its revenues from USD 449 million in 2014 to 1.148 billion in 2020. Satellite TV accounted for 92 percent of the 2014 pay TV revenues, although pay DTT will make inroads (contributing USD 802 million in 2020 – quadruple the 2014 total). Competition and take-up of the cheaper DTT packages will force ARPU down in most countries. Of the 12.92 million pay TV subscribers at end-2014, 9.65 million were pay satellite TV and 2.81 million pay DTT. The pay total will more than double to 27.95 million by 2020, with satellite TV contributing 16.21 million and pay DTT another 9.44 million.
Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has put out a consultation paper on licensing framework for digital terrestrial television for public consumption and feedback.
This latest action forms part of the Authority's intention to revolutionise digital broadcasting in the country and create an enabling environment for all stakeholders. The Southern African country initiated discussion on the licensing framework in 2012, however this process was not completed because of legislative measures which eventually culminated in the establishment of BOCRA in 2013. With a deadline set for 23rd January 2015, BOCRA has invited the nation make comments on the proposed paper.
"Upon reception of all comments, BOCRA will produce a draft Licensing Framework which will be circulated to all stakeholders and will convene a consultative workshop to finalise the framework," said Aaron Nyelesi, deputy director – corporate communications and relations at BOCRA. According to the Paper BOCRA proposes to license commercial television stations using this framework that incorporates both Free-to-View and Subscription-based television, while other classes of licenses will be considered in a holistic licensing framework as may be determined by the Authority. The regulatory body also wants to issue national, regional and zonal or sectional licenses television coverage classes in order to promote the market entrance and growth.
"In order to promote service roll out and ensure equity, BOCRA proposes to use an open and transparent method for licensing of all interested providers including the existing broadcasters. Further BOCRA proposes to issue licenses to only locally registered companies," according to an excerpt from the consultation paper. BOCRA further proposes to license digital terrestrial television on UHF channel 470-698 MHz in order to take advantage of availability of channels and for regional harmonisation.
"This will permit the country to be open for future development for other services," the paper stated. BOCRA also plans to adopt the Geneva 2006 (GE06) frequency plan to facilitate entry to the market, and, considering the size of Botswana, aims to license multi frequency networks in accordance with the GE06 plan.
We should be sceptical of a report that the Swaziland Government is about to privatise all state-controlled broadcasting in the kingdom and open up the presently-restricted airways to the people.
This promise has been made on and off for the past twenty years. Now, Dumisani Ndlangamandla, Minister of Information Communication and Technology, has reportedly said a new entity called the Swaziland Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) will be formed, possibly by the end of 2015.
The Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, reported, 'Ndlangamandla said it was expected that the operation would provide maximum availability of broadcasting to the people through the three-tier system of public, commercial and community broadcasting services.'
The newspaper reported SBC would provide public, commercial and community radio or television services.
It is unlikely that any new broadcasting entity, if it is ever created, will be any different to the present situation where nearly all broadcasting in Swaziland is state-controlled.
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, who is sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. Political parties are banned from contesting elections and the King picks the government.
At present Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Service (SBIS) oversees state radio stations. The only independent radio is Voice of the Church, a Christian station that does not carry news.
There are only two TV stations in the kingdom, the state-controlled Swazi TV and the independent Channel S, which has a publicly-stated policy of supporting King Mswati.
Despite many promises in the past the Government still does not allow community radio to operate in the kingdom.
Most people in Swaziland get their news and information from radio. Newspapers hardly penetrate rural areas where more than 70 percent of the population lives and television is too expensive for most people.
Under this situation, currently broadcasters in Swaziland serve the interests of the ruling elites and not those of the people. Broadcasting is state-controlled, that means no criticism is allowed on the airwaves of the status quo in Swaziland. Any criticism of the ruling elite is seen as 'non-Swazi'. The Prime Minister is editor-in-chief of the Swazi broadcasting and can decide what goes on the air and what does not.
As recently as August 2012, the Swazi Government issued guidelines for state broadcasters that barred all coverage of events, 'except those authorised by relevant authorities'.
The guidelines also prohibited 'public service announcements' unless they were 'in line with government policy' or had been authorised 'by the chiefs through the regional administrators' or deputy prime minister's office.
There is a long history of censorship on SBIS. Strikes and anti-government demonstrations are usually ignored by the radio. Sometimes live programmes are censored on air. In July 2011, the plug was pulled on a phone-in programme when listeners started criticising the government for its handling of the economy. Percy Simelane, who was then the boss of SBIS, and is now the Government's official spokesperson, personally stormed the radio studio and cut the programme.
In April 1 2011, Welile Dlamini, a long-time news editor at SBIS, challenged Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini at an editors' forum meeting on why the state radio station was told by the Government what and what not to broadcast. Dlamini said that at the station they were instructed to spike certain stories such as those about demonstrations by progressives and strike action by workers. The PM responded by saying editors should resign if they were not happy with the editorial policies they were expected to work with.
In March 2011, SBIS stopped broadcasting the BBC World Service Focus on Africa programme after it carried reports critical of King Mswati III. In the same month, SBIS failed to cover the march by nurses that forced the Swazi Government into paying them overdue allowances.
Kenyan pay-TV provider GOtv has moved to allay fears subscribers will have to pay a monthly subscription to access free-to-air (FTA) channels.
Felix Kyengo, general manager of GOtv Kenya, said customers have the option of the GOtv Open Bouquet, a non-subscription bouquet which provides FTA channels in digital quality.
“This is an option for television viewers to receive their local free-to-air channels for a once off administration fee,” said Kyengo.
Currently the GOtv decoder is available at KSh 3,399 (US$45) inclusive of two months GOtv Plus subscription from MultiChoice agents countrywide.
On purchasing a new GOtv decoder, customers are provided with a two-month inclusive viewing of GOtv Plus, after which they can subscribe to GOtv or GOtv Plus – or activate GOtv Open by paying a once-off administration fee of KSh 2,600 (US$30).
Kyengo confirmed GOtv customers can choose from the three GOtv options available and that a subscriber who is unable to select one of the options on time, post the initial two month period, will continue to have access to six FTA channels for two weeks.
During the two-week period customers can then renew their subscription or pay the one off non-refundable administration fee for GOtv Open with access to six FTA channels.
“GOtv are constantly innovating to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible digital television to Kenya,” Kyengo said.
“We come from a solid corporate background in which MultiChoice has a proud legacy of 20 years of providing the best digital television to Africa.”
HumanIPO reported three weeks ago rival pay-TV provider StarTimes had also announced it will provide access to at least six free-to-air channels upon the expiration of a subscriber’s monthly subscription.
The assurances come as Kenya is set to migrate to digital, having switched to the platform on December 23, 2013, though analogue has since been reinstated pending the hearing of an appeal by media houses on February 6.
Digital TV subscribers in Kenya will soon be able to procure internet-enabled decoders from the country’s three major media companies Nation Media Group (NMG), Royal Media Services (RMS) and Standard Group (SG).
They ordered for more than 150,000 digital TV set-top boxes which are expected to become available within the next three weeks.
“These set-top boxes will be quite different from what is already there in the market. The devices will be sold at a one-off price of between Kshs 2,000 and Kshs 2,500,” said NMG board chairman Wilfred Kiboro.
Business Daily reported about one million additional units are expected in March through the Africa Digital Network (ADN) consortium compromising of the three media companies.
The consortium which controls over 87% and 80% of TV and radio respectively in Kenya said the set-top boxes will allow consumers to access the consortium’s free-to-air channels and also access add-ons such as Internet services.
MultiChoice Uganda, a leading pay television service provider, has launched its latest single view High Definition (HD) decoder called DSTV Zapper. The new product will replace the existing standard definition decoder, which is being phased out.
Bryan Muwonge, the marketing manager MutiChoice, said the introduction of the new product is one of MultiChoice’s ways to prepare for digital migration. He added that customers would view a better picture with the new product.
“As you all know, HD now is the new world. It’s a step we have taken in preparation for the digital migration that is due in June, and to enhance quality of our picture and sound for our customer,” Muwonge said. He was speaking at the launch of the product at Piato restaurant in Kampala last week.
According to Muwonge, the new decoder “comes at a fairly reduced price,” which will ensure that more subscribers will have the possibility of accessing DStv’s ever-expanding channels. The decoder goes for Shs 160,000 while a full kit is priced at Shs 309,000.
Charles Hamya, the general manager of MultiChoice, said in a statement: “HD television presents the best picture and audio format currently available and, as such, it’s a natural promoter of the digital migration, which will result in an overall improvement in the quality of television globally.”
He added: “This is the reason MultiChoice has been championing its widespread uptake in Uganda and the rest of the continent.”
In an effort to deliver better service to clients, MultiChoice recently recalled decoders from customers who had been experiencing poor-quality output.
Recently, Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), said: “We have already finalized the digital migration procurement. We signed the contract last month. So, it is finalized and we believe within three months everything will be fully deployed.”
A deadline of June 2015 was set by UCC for local electronic media operators to change from analogue to digital.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and Tuluntulu have teamed up to provide DW's English TV channel as streaming content for mobile devices in Africa.The new partnership between DW and Tuluntulu will make it easier for mobile users in Africa to tune in to DW free of charge – no matter where they are. Tuluntulu is a mobile app that provides a range of TV streams at a lower bandwidth, making content available on mobile as well as wirelessn networks.
Tuluntulu is an African focused mobile streaming platform that can be used to reach people globally via their smartphones or tablets. For the end user the app is free to download (Android and iOS), free to watch (no subscriptions), 100 percent free on Wi-Fi, with data costs only if connected via a mobile network. The business model, which relies mainly on advertising, is designed to maximise audience reach and engagement. The platform currently has 12 streaming TV channels in 24/7.
To view a video clip interview with Pierre van der Hoven on the launch of a low bandwidth mobile streaming service, click on ths link
Picture below, on the right: Pierre van der Hoven, MD Tuluntulu at AfricaCast 2014. Photo credit: Balancing Act 2014.
The SABC appoints James Aguma as chief financial officer
On 5 January 2015, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced that James Aguma has been appointed as the corporation’s chief financial officer (CFO). Before this appointment, Aguma was in charge of strategy and audit matters for the organisation.
Aguma is a chartered accountant by profession and comes with a wealth of financial experience, joining the SABC from the auditor general’s office. He has extensive public sector experience, having worked with government departments and state owned enterprises (SOEs). He has also worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he was involved with major clients such as Rand Merchant Bank, Momentum Group, Bristol Meyers Squibb and the World Bank.
The 2015 Torch Awards now open for entries
The 2015 Torch Awards is now open for entries. New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising℠ invites young creative talent from the ages of 18-25 to take part in the second annual Torch Awards, a unique competition that explores a creative challenge each year and offers mentor training on how to pitch their idea. This year’s challenge is a 60-second video.
For the 2015 Torch Awards, New York Festivals® has partnered with The Project Solution, an international nonprofit organization that collaborates with small, like-minded nonprofits around the world that require small grants to fund a critical infrastructure project in their region.
“New York Festivals partnered with The Project Solution because we are impressed by their international reach and commitment to community, as well as their ability to funnel 100% of the donations received directly into their projects,” said Alisun Armstrong, Executive Director, Torch Awards. “And with entries and judges coming from more than 70 countries every year, the New York Festivals family extends to the four corners of the world; these projects have a very real, meaningful impact on individuals, yet affect us all.”
Entrants in the 60-Second Spot Challenge will be presenting their creative concept for a one-minute video promoting The Project Solution’s “Subscription for Change” program, and competing for the chance to see their work go live. The video will communicate to people how they can make a real difference in the lives of others by creating a video to assist The Project Solution’s mission.
Five finalist teams will be invited to New York City to present their ideas. Before they head into the pitch, they’ll fine-tune their work during an intensive work session with their mentor—a member of the New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising Executive Jury. The teams will have 10 minutes to pitch their idea to an exclusive jury panel including members of The Project Solution team and members of the New York Festivals Executive Jury.
The Torch Awards was launched in 2014 to champion young creative talent. Young creatives are encouraged to enter and review a brief outlining a marketing opportunity to assist The Project Solution and a chance to see their campaign selected to go live.
There is no entry fee for the Torch Awards. Teams of two to four people 18-25 years of age may enter.
The Project Solution, a nonprofit, was founded in 2009 and started with the simple idea of creating a community of donors to help a community in need. They collaborate with small, like-minded nonprofits around the world that require small grants to fund a critical infrastructure project in their region. Their philosophy is centered on the idea that small solutions can make a big impact. With a dedicated group of annual donors, their focus is on completing projects that offer long-term change.
The 2015 Torch Awards submission deadline is 13 March 2015. Finalist teams will be announced on 9 April. Finalist teams will convene in New York City on 20 May and the winning team will be announced live and will accept their trophy at the New York Show on 21 May.
For more information please visit the Torch Awards website.
New sH2Orts competition in partnership with WaterAid
WorldView is delighted to have partnered with WaterAid to launch a global short film competition called sH2Orts with great prizes and future WorldView grant funding.
The films must be about water, however the choice of story is up to you!
Be as creative as you like! We’d like to see an original take – it could be through the lens of thirst or floods, a drama set in a car wash, or a portrait of the man who waters plants in your local park. We just want to see your best, creative, quirky or simply beautiful short film all about water. The aim is to build a selection of one-minute shorts by aspiring filmmakers that highlight the almost limitless role of water and to showcase these films online on World Water Day in March 2015.
Experienced filmmakers Shekhar Kapur and Phillip Bloom are supporting the competition. With a wealth of experience both as a director and cinematographer, Philip Bloom is the perfect candidate to launch the competition on 26 November. Philip’s promo for the partnership can be seen below.
Shekhar Kapur, an award winning Indian film director, actor and producer will have the difficult role of choosing the overall winner of the competition. He is best known for his BAFTA nominated historical films Elizabeth and The Golden Age, as well as Bollywood films including award-winning Bandit Queen. Revealing some of the criteria for a winning film, he said:
“Through this competition, we’re hoping to see a plethora of ways water impacts on our daily lives through the powerful medium of film. I’ll be looking for individuality and creativity when judging the entries’.
“This is a great opportunity for filmmakers to make a mark for themselves and I’m proud to be working with WaterAid and WorldView on this amazing opportunity for budding filmmakers. I feel passionately about helping the younger generation in and am therefore offering a masterclass with me as one of the prizes.”
The full judging panel will be announced early next year.
Fujifilm have generously donated five great cameras.
The overall winner will receive a Fuji XT 1 with a XF18-135mm lens and a filmmaking masterclass with BAFTA-nominated Director Shekhar Kapur.
The People’s Choice prize winner will receive a Fuji X Pro 1 with 18-55 mm lens and a storytelling masterclass with WorldView.
The three runner’s up will each receive a Fuji X100S.
The competition is free to enter and entrants can film on their own, with friends or as part of a crew. The films can be sent in either .mp4 or .mov format and can be any duration under one minute long.
The shortlisted film makers will be notified at the end of February and the final five winners will be announced on World Water Day 2015 – 22 March.
Furthermore, in 2015 we will be welcoming applications for longer 3-5 minute shorts where grant funding will be available. More information and dates for submitting these longer applications will be announced early next year.
We’re looking for great storytelling told in creative and innovative ways. This is about your imagination, not resources: you can make it on your own or with friends or a crew, using your phone, a top-end camera or anything in between.
With WaterAid’s aim to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to safe, clean water by 2030 and WorldView’s commitment to supporting filmmakers to bring the richness and diversity of the world to mass audiences, we want to use our combined expertise to encourage the creation of an eclectic range of films that celebrate the many facets of water and its fundamental importance to life.
For full details on the competition and how to enter, visit www.wateraid.org/sh2orts.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job offer : local TV analyst(s)
Nigeria - Kenya – Ivory Coast
Created by Eurodata TV Worldwide, NOTA is a tracking and monitoring service of new TV programs. The NOTA website provides detailed information on every single show, its content, cast, origin, producers, distributor, programming environment and ratings.
Job title: NOTA TV analyst for Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast)
Part time (1-2 hours per day)
· Daily identification of new entertainment, factual and fiction television programs on a
selection of African TV channels
· Writing standardized reports with a description of the programs and production credits
· Recording and sending videos of the identified television programs to the NOTA team in
· Strong interest in television and media business
· Excellent writing skills in English
· Organized, reliable
· Internet connection, access to pan-Africa and national TV channels in Nigeria, Kenya and
Ivory Coast (or possibility to subscribe)
Contact: please send your application to the NOTA team: email@example.com
17th -19th Feb 2015
Digital Broadcasting Switchover Countdown!
@ 10th annual Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum (DBSF) 2015
Hotel Indaba, Johannesburg, South Africa
28 Feb - 4 March 2015
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
One of the largest African film festivals - see website.
17 au 22 March 2015
Le Festival de films africains de Luxor (LAFF)
24-25 March 2015
Digital Broadcasting Industry Summit in West Africa
Abudja, Nigeria - The Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Abuja
Organisateur : Mr Olusegun Olaleye, Executive Director, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON)
26 au 28 March 2015
Africa TV Market - 1st Edition
Abidjan - Côte d’Ivoire
TV market (TBC)
Source: OSD Communications
13 - 16 April 2015
13 - 24 May 2015
68e edition of Festival de Cannes
2 - 4 June 2015
DISCOP Africa Express
Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, a 5 stars hôtel in Côte d'Ivoire
THE African market & creative forum for TV programmes and audiovisual content trade in francophone Africa: A must go! Organised by Basic Lead.
17-19 June 2015
Convergence Africa World 2015
Kenya (Nairobi) - Oshwal Centre (Parklands)
Organised by Exhibitions India Group (EIG)
20-22 June, 2015
conference and trade show - Film and TV.
10-15 September 2015
Big! global meeting place for everyone engaged in creating, managing and delivering the future of electronic media, entertainment technology and content. Featuring an influential conference and world-class exhibition, IBC immerses 55,000+ professionals from over 170 countries...
15 to 17 July 2015
Mediatech Africa 2015
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, South Africa
The biennial advanced technology trade show has positioned itself as the largest and most prestigious event of its kind in Africa for the media and entertainment industries.
5 - 8 Oct. 2015
4 to 6 November 2015
DISCOP AFRICA 2015
Venue: Johannesburg - The Dome @NorthGate Johannesburg, RSA
The biggest African market & creative forum for TV programmes and audiovisual content trade: not to miss. Organised by Basic Lead.
17 – 19 November 2015
Africa Com welcomes the re-launch of the AfricaCast event as TV Connect Africa.
About 8000 participants.