Kenya: Film studio changes the broadcast scene landscape
MultiChoice Africa, the owners of DStv, has recently launched a Sh1 billion film studio in Nairobi, putting the Kenyan capital at par with South Africa and Nigeria where it runs similar studios.
MultiChoice subsidiaries, SuperSport and M-Net Africa, will use the facility to generate content that is relevant to the company’s East African audience.
The move follows a recent announcement by the government that it intends to increase local content quotient for broadcasters to 60 per cent from the current 40 per cent.
This, together with the planned transition to digital broadcasting later this year, means broadcasters must invest heavily in local production infrastructure to remain in business.
Migration to digital TV will see the entry of more players in the broadcasting scene, increasing demand for local content and opening a new competitive front. Besides producing for own subsidiaries, the Nairobi facility also hopes to help independent broadcasters meet the statutory requirements.
MultiChoice East Africa regional director Stephen Isaboke talked to the Business Daily on the significance of the studio to Kenya’s broadcasting scene and how it might shape the future of the industry. Here are excerpts from the interview.
This is a multi-million shilling investment that must have taken a good amount of planning before execution. Who are you targeting with this facility?
We are targeting local content producers, primarily sports and general entertainment, with a focus on serving the East African market. East Africa has a great appetite for high-quality local productions and we intend to deliver “so much more” which is what DStv is known for.
MultiChoice has developed and trained people who will manage the facilities to the highest level and the equipment is of the highest technical standards. This reaffirms our confidence and commitment in the region and its people.
You bought this facility while it was not in good shape, what kind of revamp has it received and what is the amount of investment involved?
These high-end studios rank among the most advanced production facilities on the continent. We have so far invested more than Sh1 billion to create world-class local sport content and general entertainment shows for East Africa.
The four studios are supported by two control rooms, nine post-production suites, two quality control suites and ICR Central Distribution. MCR and uplink facilities are currently being designed, taking the East African facility into a new age.
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