TV channels strategies in Africa : TV5Monde lays out its stall
Above: TV5Monde Afrique VoD website.
By Sylvain Béletre for Balancing Act, Oct. 2015.
As the largest buyers and sellers market for TV programs in Africa is about to kick off (Discop Johannesburg), it is time for producers, distributors and broadcasters to get ready.
When asked which are the quality TV channels that make the audience in francophone Africa, the answer lies in finger counting: TV5Monde, France24, Africa24, VoxAfrica, Africable, RTI ... on pay TV bouquets: A +, NollywoodTV, Trace channels, Gulli Africa and others. The competition looks tough, with soon Africanews and Russian channel RT (in French) joining. And the audience is still difficult to measure in many countries. How do you stay on course?
TV5MONDE has strengths that others do not have. But wide distribution is not always sufficient to capture viewers’ interest. Sylvain Béletre, audiovisual analyst Balancing Act talked to Yves Bigot, General Manager of TV5 Monde on the strategy of the media in Africa.
« TV5Monde, funded by the governments of France, Switzerland, Canada, Quebec and Wallonia-Brussels (the French speaking part of Belgium), is also the exclusive TV representative for the OIF - the French-speaking International Organisation, with members representing 80 countries including many in Africa. As such, we broadcast 9 different channels throughout the world.
TV5Monde, the French speaking entertainment company (with subtitles in 14 languages) with a strong cultural and news bias, is available in Africa through two different channels: TV5Monde Afrique and TV5Monde Maghreb-Orient (North Africa only).
TV5Monde Afrique actually reached 13,800,000 homes by June 2015 (12% growth from 2014).
The channel is distributed through satellite, cable and terrestrial. The launch of DTT (availability) on the continent has started as soon as 2006 (in Mauritius, through the MBC network).
Through the private Startimes company, TV5Monde Afrique has been available on DTT since 2009 in Rwanda, Guinea and Burundi. It was recently launched in Congo (DRTV) in 2014, and neighbouring Congo Democratic Republic in Kinshasa last June.
Commercial revenues are growing yearly, reaching 1.5 million € in 2014 (8% growth over 2013), making it TV5Monde Afrique's best year since the inception of the specific African channel in 1992. Our family-oriented scheduling and independent news programs have allowed us to attract the new African middle-class and the youth market. We were particulary able to convince new advertisers within the food, hygiene, fashion or consumer goods industries among others.
TV5Monde Afrique is proud to broadcast the very best of African cinema, tv series, documentaries and talk shows, and contribute to their development, promotion and financing. We also produce a daily 18 minutes news show dedicated solely to the continent (Journal Afrique), and some weekly programs also exclusively dedicated to Africa: Afrique Presse and Et si vous me disiez toute la vérité (political talk shows), Maghreb-Orient-Express (cultural talk show targeting the arab speaking countries bordering the Mediterranean), Stars Parade (african music show), Reflets Sud (society), Wari (economical magazine).
Sports events include football (French Ligue 1), track and field (Athletics), cycling (Tours du Gabon, du Rwanda, du Faso, de RDCongo, de France), rugby union (French Top 14, Heineken Cup) and will be joined in August 2016 by more than 6 hours of daily live broadcast from Rio's Olympic Games.
Music events include live shows from Angélique Kidjo, Youssou N'Dour, Magic System, Manu Dibango, Alpha Blondy, Tiken Jah Fakoly and many other African stars, including those who performed this September at Kinshasa's first Francofolies.
Our scheduling allows a special daily slot of French speaking produced African TV series in access prime-time. Most of them are first broadcasts and co-financed by TV5Monde, to make sure that our programming mirrors the tastes and lifestyles of our many viewers in Western as well as in Central Africa. Brouteurs.com (from RTI in Ivory Coast) is currently getting huge feedback. Coming up: C'est la vie (Senegal), Aimé malgré lui (CAR), Mpangi ami (DCR), Fabiola (Burkina Faso).
We also coproduce a lot of African movies and accompany them in festivals throughout the world (Cannes, Namur, Angoulême, etc.). Some recent exemples in Cannes : Gris-Gris (2013), Timbuktu (2014), Souleymane Cissé's (2015). »
TV5Monde’s team will be attending the upcoming Discop Johannesburg 2015.
Picture above: Yves Bigot, General Manager of TV5 Monde. - Credit: @Christophe Guibbaud/TV5MONDE.
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