Benin’s Ministry of Sport sets up outside broadcast company for national football league, concerts and political meetings

18 November 2022

Top Story

In an unusual move, Benin’s Minister of Sport Oscar Homeky has (with the support of President Patrice Talon) set up a newly created state company to film and broadcast national football tournaments and other events. Russell Southwood spoke to Jean-Paul Douin, responsible for exports at Videlio about the contract that has launched the new company.

The new state company ANECSMO has acquired an outside broadcast fleet that is probably unique in the West African region. The main OB unit (built on an 18 ton IVECO chassis) has an existing capacity for 10 HD cameras, all of which are 4K ready and the unit can be upgraded to handle 12 cameras.

Its companion van (built on a 5 ton Mercedes chassis) has an internal power generator and supports a five-camera portable production unit: “It can do five extra games at the same time and might also go to Cote d’Ivoire for extra events.” The contract was signed a year ago but supply chain issues with computer components has not affected the delivery of the contract: “It has been very hectic to be able to deliver it on time.” The vans are currently being shipped to Cotonou and will arrive in December.

ANECSMO will carry all the Government’s external broadcast requirements including national football league matches, concerts and political meetings. Interestingly, the state broadcaster ORTB that might have been expected to carry out this kind of work was not selected to do so. ANECSMO will carry out the live production function for ORTB.

Apparently the politicians saw an OB van bought in 2017 by the Ivorian state broadcaster RTI and decided they had to have one: “The Presidency decided to have its own OB production truck.”

Staff for the new OB production unit will be trained both in France and Benin. It will also have two consultants attached to the unit, one of whom is currently in Qatar, where he is responsible for the broadcasting from one of the World Cup stadiums.

According to Soccerway, Benin’s Championnat National is in its eighteenth week this season with three teams currently fighting it out for the championship: Buffles, Béké Bembèrèkè and Dynamo Parakou.

In Brief section is below the book announcement below.

Africa 2.0 - Inside a Continent's Communications Revolution - is out now from Manchester University Press.

It's an ambitious 35-year history of the impact of mobile and internet on Sub-Saharan Africa written for the informed general reader. Chapters cover: the rise of mobile calling; bandwidth as the digital economy's fuel; mobile internet, handsets and apps; mobile money; African digital life; digital's impact on development; industry corruption, start-ups addressing deep market challenges and doing complexity: making sense of what happened.

To buy the book:

In South Africa:

Takealot: https://www.takealot.com/africa-2-0-inside-a-continent-s-communications-revolution/PLID72880480

In the rest of Africa and the world (Cheapest and Quickest):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Africa-2-0-continents-communications-revolution-ebook/dp/B0B3XLFF89/ref=sr_1_1?crid=66U6ZDU73D2M&keywords=africa+2.0+inside+a+continent%27s+communications+revolution&qid=1659023345&sprefix=Africa+2.0%2Caps%2C165&sr=8-1

In Brief

Malawi: Earlier this year, Malawi’s Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) gave dozens of broadcasters and courier companies notice to pay annual license fees. When they didn't do so, outlets such as Rainbow Television, Angalimba Television, Ufulu Television, Angaliba FM, Capital Radio, Sapitwa FM, Joy Radio, Ufulu FM and Galaxy FM all had their licenses revoked. By the end of the year, up to 30 broadcasting outlets are expected to close as a result of the decision. Nearly 250 employees from three TV outlets and six radio stations have already lost their jobs.In an attempt to convince the Malawi government’s communication regulatory body to reconsider closing these outlets, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter approached the Parliamentary Committee on Media to highlight their case, arguing that the economic crisis the country is experiencing, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has not spared the media sector. The advocacy organization said that the annual fees, costing the equivalent of US$5,000, were exorbitant — 10 times more expensive than costs for the high-end hotels and admission to private hospitals. “The revocation of licenses is too drastic and can be construed as a systematic violation of freedom of expression in the country,” MISA argued.

Zimbabwe: Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Kindness Paradza yesterday said opposition parties would only have their campaign advertisements flighted on public broadcaster, ZBC, once they tone down what he claims is hate speech.

Paramount has announced that it will launch its streaming service, Paramount+, in Africa by 2024 while expanding its production facility. According to media reports, the organisation publicly unveiled its objectives for the Nigerian film industry at the recently concluded 11th AFRIFF. At the event, Country Manager of Paramount Africa, Bada Akintunde-Johnson, said, “We are engaging with key players in the industry, particularly producers, to co-produce and co-fund projects with us. We’ll identify stories, documentaries, drama series, and feature films that can go on the platform and other platforms. We also hope to deliver these local projects with producers who have been building the market and their portfolios over the years. We want to change the narrative for the better in our continent. Bada further revealed that the service will not fully sponsor any film production, as they will opt for a 50-50 partnership deal.

South Africa: Telkom – the South African national telecom operator – will be permanently exiting the OTT streaming media business as it has now entirely “handed over” the reins of the “TelkomOne” streaming platform to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which is now live as SABC+. In a statement, Telkom said, “Telkom and the SABC have had a successful partnership since the launch of TelkomOne in late 2020. The platform has now matured and is ready to scale under the management of SABC’s broadcasting expertise.” Telkom chief marketing officer Gugu Mthembu said, “SABC’s expertise in sourcing and curating relevant content will enrich the current content library for existing and new customers. As a result, the entire customer base will be shifted over to the SABC.”

MultiChoice has revealed that Showmax Pro has had a significant year-on-year subscriber growth of 111 per cent. The announcement does not specify the number of subscriptions the service has. The streaming service points this growth to recent cuts to its subscription prices for a limited period ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. MultiChoice says the World Cup will be a landmark occasion for the company, with Showmax Pro streaming all 64 matches in 4K resolution. The original Showmax streaming service is apparently “hot on its heels”, with paid subscribers growing 50 per cent yearly across Africa. Last month, MultiChoice announced that it was cutting the prices of its Showmax Pro subscriptions to US$17.26 per month, down from the regular US$20.14.

Angola: Multi-platform media group Rede Girassol has selected Elenos Group to to provide complete transmission solutions to launch their new FM station Girassol FM including an Elenos Indium ET10000, 10Kw high efficiency solid state FM transmitter. Elenos partner, Sitemaster worked closely with Girassol FM for planning, installation and commissioning services, and jointly selected Elenos for providing the best combination of excellent energy effect, superior audio performance, ultra-reliable operation and industry leading “customer first” support.

StarNews Mobile claims to have 4 million active users. By its definition, an active user is a user who has paid to access their creator channel at least once in the past 30 days. There are around 500,000 unique active users that engage with its platform on a daily basis and they receive daily exclusive content from the creators they follow, while another 3.5 million users receive free content sporadically over 30 days. Over the course of 2022, over 10 million users have signed up and accessed our platform and that is its potential captive audience. Over 90% of its users are located in Ivory Coast and Cameroon, which totals about 40 million mobile subscribers and on this basis, StarNews Mobile claims to have captured the interest of over 25% of these two markets.

Nigeria: Global streaming service, Netflix, said it had invested over US$40 million in the Nigerian film industry from 2016 to 2022. Speaking at a Digital Content Regulation Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, Ms Shola Sanni, Director of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Netflix, said the investments were spent on converting local film titles, capacity building and infrastructure development in the industry. She stated that Netflix had invested in over 200 local licensed titles, co-produced and commissioned original film content. Accordingly, more than 125 Nigerian films and TV series are available on Netflix as of November 2022.

Earlier this week, NBA Africa and ESPN Africa signed a multiyear agreement that will see ESPN2 broadcast a record of more than 180 NBA seasons and Playoff games each season on DStv and Starsat. According to the companies, the agreement includes the entire Conference Finals and Finals, beginning with the 2022-23 NBA season that tipped off last month. The pair further disclosed that ESPN Africa will air all 45 games live in primetime in Africa this season as part of “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K23.” Additionally, ESPN2 will broadcast the NBA Christmas Day games, NBA All-Star, the Play-In Tournament, the weekly magazine show “NBA Action,” the NBA Draft and the multi-game live look-in programme “NBA 360.”