France Médias Monde signs radio broadcast agreement with Canal+ - RFI offers programming in four African languages
8 October 2021
Broadcasting radio channels on TV does not get a lot of attention. But a recent deal with Canal+ has put this kind of broadcasting in the spotlight. The six million Canal+ subscribers in Africa will now have access to RFI programming in four different African languages.
France Médias Monde (which includes RFI, France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya) has signed an agreement to extend its distribution with Canal+ in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
This new agreement means that France 24 and RFI will continue their distribution in the CANAL+ bouquet, reaching its six million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. But Canal+ will also to broadcast RFI's radio programs in African languages (Mandinka, Fula, Hausa and Swahili) via the SES 4 satellite for free. Whilst a lot of international broadcasters have output in Hausa and Swahili, Fula and Mandinka output is much less available. Not all the channels’ output is in these languages.
France 24 in French is also available on EasyTV, the paid DTT offer from CANAL+ in DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea as well as the new version of the myCANAL streaming app, which was launched in Africa in June 2021, which gives users direct access to the global 24-hour news channel and a large catalogue of on-demand programs. It has also got distribution for its French and English channels of France 24 on the new CANAL+ Ethiopia package, which was launched in April 2021.
According to Alexandre Gruner, Partnerships Director, Canal+ and Thema the distribution deal is important because the languages offered bring it closer to its subscribers:”It’s a global agreement that includes not only RFI in French, but also France 24, the linear TV channels as well as 4 African language. We are happy to have launched these four new channels as it’s in line with our strategy to be closer and closer to our subscribers. Those four languages are among the most spoken local languages in the territories where CANAL+ is present in Africa. It is important for us to bring to our subscribers content in their native tongue and the 4 RFI channels do that.” Canal+ currently carries 76 radio channels on its bouquets.
Listening to radio on the TV is a little explored audience niche. Gruner says that 93% of households listen to radio at home but only 4% listen to radio stations on their TV sets. However, in the hard-fought battle for listeners’ attention, the combination of African languages and this new distribution channel may add much needed listeners.
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