All posts by Ed

Econet to be honoured at IBC

Econet Media, the main backer of African pay TV platform Kwesé Play, is to receive this year’s judges’ award at Amsterdam trade convention IBC.

Michael Lumley

IBC is a world-class entertainment and media show and will be attended by dignitaries from countries worldwide. The award show is set to take place on September 15, 2018 in the RAI Auditorium.

Kwesé Play not only partners with Netflix but also offers a combination of content that is both local and international. It is accessible on various kinds OTT gadgets but focuses on areas that have limited broadband services.

The technology partners that worked with Econet to develop Kwesé Play are Verimatrix, AWS Elemental and Roku.

Michael Lumley, chair of the IBC judging panel, said: “Kwesé Play is a game-changer, bringing sport and entertainment to viewers in a part of the world which has been hard to serve.

“In our discussions, we recognised that the way the technology partners had collaborated on this project was innovative and successful, but we also felt the outcome transcended the technology, delivering social change by connecting local people to global content.”

Lumley understood the relevance of this award ceremony, as he added: “We are pleased to recognise the social as well as technical importance of this project.”

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Accelerate TV launches Audio Candy

Accelerate TV has launched a new music show, titled Audio Candy. It is hosted by movie producer and rapper Ikon, who will interview other guest artistes.

Other Nigerian artistes that feature on the show are Waje, Seyi Shay, Tomi Thomas, Terry Apala, Funbi and Nonso.

The Audio Candy show is a mix of RnB as well as hip-hop, with Collete Otusheso, head Accelerate TV, asking: “What smells like RnB and tastes like hip-hop?”

The show, which debuted on the Nigerian channel yesterday, promises to be exciting as invited artistes will have the opportunity to perform their own song and also do a collaboration on a classical song on the show.

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Akaugo TV launches on Play

A new television channel has been introduced by pay TV platform Play TV, titled Akaugo TV.

Akaugo is a premium lifestyle and entertainment channel that features everything in the Igbo language.

Shows on the new network include Oge Isi Nri, a cookery series hosted by renowned event planner Ijeoma Okonkwo. This show is meant to empower viewers on the techniques of cooking and also demonstrate how fun and inspiring cooking can be.

Ochiedike Akaugo – translated to mean Akaugo Legend – is a show that features award-winning individuals who are still relevant in the entertainment industry. Each episode reveals their works and experiences.

Funmi Adenaike

Ngozi Ka Esi Ebindu, meanwhile, is a lifestyle show hosted by Grace Essien. It informs and educates viewers on fashion trends and lifestyles.

Another series, O Na-Ewe Abuo follows the love stories of couples in an attempt to educate viewers on trust, good relationships and values. Breakfast on Akaugo is a morning show that airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This segment features guest interviews.

Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV, said: “The channel is unique because it is not your regular movie channel, it is your go-to Igbo channel for entertainment, information and lifestyle.”

Akaugo TV can be found on Channel 323.

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Lagos Comic Con is back and bigger

The Lagos Comic Convention (LCC) is set to take place this weekend, and organisers say the event is bigger than ever.

Ayodele Elegba

On Saturday, September 15, the seventh edition of the LCC will be hosted at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Popularly known as Africa’s biggest geek and pop culture event, the annual convention will be attended by over a thousand guests, exhibitors and buyers.

The one-day event features a number of activities, from master classes to pitches and costume (cosplay) competitions, as well as exhibitions and networking opportunities.

This year’s convention focuses on the theme; Aspire, Dream, Prosper. Attendance is free but one must register to have access to the various master classes from different sectors of the creative industry.

“Being the seventh edition this year, we want to give every attendee the experience of a lifetime. The fun will be seven times bigger. At the end of the event all who came will leave without a doubt they were in truly the biggest gathering of geeks and pop culture fans in Africa,” said LCC founder Ayodele Elegba.

Other aspects of the event include: Nollycon (a film plenary), Comiccon (for artists, animators, illustrators to showcase their projects), Gamezone (for gaming enthusiasts), Rendacon (plenary and seminars discussing the business of comics) and Bookicon (access to author signings and publishing workshops).

Kids aged between six and 12 also get a chance to learn about animation and illustration at dedicated workshops at the Kids Zone.

Speakers include: Niyi Akinmolayan, Mbuotidem Johnson, Osas Asemota, Toke Makinwa, Juliana Oloyede and Jeanne Blasberg. Click here to purchase tickets for the master classes and Kids Zone.

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Pay TV in focus at NITV

Emeka Mba, Bamidele Adetunji, Funmi Adenaike, Zachary Wazara & Lindsey Oliver

The first panel session at the Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the country’s pay TV industry.

Addressing the issue of sustainability and growth in the pay TV business in Nigeria, panelists discussed the challenges and ways in which these can be overcome.

Panelists included Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV; Emeka Mba, former NBC director general and now CEO of Questechmedia Consulting; Bamidele Adetunji, CEO at Montage Media Group; and Zachary Wazara, CEO of Kwese TV. The session was moderated by Lindsey Oliver, CEO of Yanga TV.

The conversation kicked off with an evaluation of the industry as a whole and how it has evolved so far. Panelists agreed that rapid development of technology poses a challenge for pay TV platforms.

“The internet is changing consumer behaviour and business models,” said Wazara.

Meanwhile, despite agreeing that other industries are threatening the growth of the TV industry, Adetunji stated that the challenge to sustainability is a lack of proper recording technology and archiving.

“There was time I wanted to produce an epic Nigerian movie but was told it was unavailable because a recording had been done over the master recording, which basically means it no longer exists.

“And this leads me to ask, who has the rights to TV series like [classic Nigerian drama] Village Headmaster? Where are our formats? Where are our records? There are no local formats, yet international formats still exist,” said Adetunji.

Addressing the issue of telcos encroaching on the TV industry, Mba stated: “There are no level playing fields in an industry that is hugely dependent on technology and data to operate.”

Buttressing his point, Adenaike added: “There are enormous challenges in the industry and some pay TV companies are forced to deliver certain kinds of content because they are working with what is available, which is not much.”

Speaking about the way forward, Adetunji suggested that Nigeria should establish a commercial satellite platform so local pay TV channels don’t have to form partnerships with international satellites and pay “astronomical” amounts to air content. This is especially true when consumers do not understand a pay TV channel’s need for high prices because all they want is content at a low cost.

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RTI chief delivers NITV keynote

Ahmadou Bakayoko at NITV Summit

The Nigeria International Television Summit (NITVS) kicked off today with a keynote speech from Ahmadou Bakayoko, director general of Radiodifussion-Télévision Ivoirenne (RTI).

Bayakoyo, who runs the Ivory Coast’s public broadcaster, discussed the various issues pay TV companies are faced with in the African continent. According to him, consumers value content aired on pay TV networks but do not give a thought to the costs of operations and production.

He also stated that the advent of more technology-driven innovation has created stiff competition, thereby causing loss of revenue for those companies. “More technology is coming that breaks the geographical barrier and pay TV companies can hardly make money when their programmes air on YouTube before they officially launch it,” he said.

He further stated: “Telcos are a threat to us because they have the money to create content. They say data but it’s video and people love video content they can easily access.”

However, despite the challenges he mentioned, Bakayoko suggested solutions that could help sustain companies in the television industry. He said the three keys to sustaining the pay TV business is securing talent, forming relationships and being innovative.

“The biggest asset in this industry is talent; it gives an extra edge and passion. Therefore, the solution is to secure a relationship with your talents, nurture them and satisfy them to ensure they don’t just go to the highest bidder because of the relationship they have with you.”

He added: “Whereas, innovation is also very key, as important as international cooporation. Even the bigger players make mergers and partnerships, locally and internationally.”

RTI is the publicly owned radio and TV authority of Ivory Coast. It is financed through a combination of TV and radio licences, advertisements and taxes.

Earlier this year, RTI signed what is thought to be the first TV coproduction deal between Ivory Coast and South Korea, RTI Distribution, the distribution arm of RTI, sealed the deal with Seoul-based PlayOnCast to coproduce drama series Abidjan City Club (30×26’).

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NBC lecture focuses on national unity

Is’haq Modibbo Kawu delivering the NBC lecture last week

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of Nigeria held its fourth annual lecture last week, with the focus firmly on the broadcast industry’s role in fostering national unity.

Almost a week after celebrating its 26th anniversary, the NBC hosted its latest lecture on the theme of Broadcasting & Nigeria’s Ethnocultural & Religious Divide – Bridging the Gap. The conference focused on discussions about the broadcast industry and its nationwide impact.

Delivering the welcome address, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, director general of the NBC, stated that the aim of the lecture is to deliberate on the issues affecting the broadcast industry and how it can address the question of ethnicity and religious division in the country.

“Ethnicity and religion have become a recurrent and ever-present issue in the Nigerian polity. Broadcasting is critical to them. How we use the broadcast media can affect our ethnocultural relationship positively and negatively.

“Today, I challenge our industry to use the broadcast media to promote healthy religious propagation, religious unity, respect that is built on a faithful and credible religious foundation using our religious diversity as strength and not weakness. Our religion and culture should unite us not divide us,” he said.

Kawu further explained the role each broadcast company is expected to play in moving the country forward, particularly during the upcoming 2019 elections.

“I enjoin broadcasters to use their medium not for selfish gains but for unity and growth of the country,” he said. “We should promote healthy debate and give voters education and enlightenment so they can make informed choices.”

He further stated: “The broadcast media belongs to all of us. It is a sacred medium, not for abuses and hate speeches.”

Kawu disclosed that Nigeria has over 700 broadcast stations and the most active broadcasting industry in the African continent. He also said the NBC is determined to finish the digital switch-over (DSO) it actively re-embarked on in 2017.

The event took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, with a number of dignitaries and industry leaders present. They included the Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed (represented by Priscilla Ihuoma); Kashim Shettima, Borno state governor (represented by Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawon) and Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Professor Isaac Mbachu, Political Science Nigeria Defense Academy; Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, national commissioner at INEC; and Dr Armstrong Idachaba, director of broadcast monitoring at the NBC.

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CPC fights DSTV price hike

Nigeria’s Consumers Protection Council (CPC) is taking further steps to prevent pay TV company DSTV from forcing a price hike on its subscribers.

Babatunde Irukera

Days after Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered DSTV owner MultiChoice Nigeria to stop the planned implementation of higher tariffs, the CPC stated that Nigerian consumers are complaining about the DSTV subscription process.

According to the CPC, DSTV subscribers have been finding it difficult to purchase new bouquet plans with the old rates after the court ordered MultiChoice to halt its price rises.

Despite the directive given by the courts, DSTV is yet to confirm that they will adhere to this order or released any statement addressing the issue.

The court restriction was put in place after an application was filed on behalf of the Nigerian government by the CPC in case No. FHC/ABJ/CS/894.

The application was facilitated by Babatunde Irukera, director general of the CPC, who led other concerned Nigerians to appear in court for the case. Other applicants who jointly signed a nine-paragraph statement include Abimbola Ojenike, Eme David-Ojugo, Moray Adebayo, Teniola Medupin and Florence Abebe.

Based on the complaint, the court restrained DSTV from implementing the tariff hike and carrying out activities that may affect the outcome of ongoing investigations by the CPC into the company’s compliance or non-compliance with the February 16, 2016 order pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The CPC is giving costumers a chance to have their complaints addressed, the council noted this in a statement. “In view of the continuing and increasing complaints that consumers are unsuccessful in renewing subscription in compliance with the order of the court, even after service of the order upon MultiChoice, the Council is setting up a special channel for receiving complaints for this purpose.”

The council stated that all subscribers experiencing any difficulty should email their complaints here, including information such as smart card number, name, telephone number, date and time of failed attempt to pay and, if possible, a screenshot or document that proves the complaint.

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Pay platform TSTV resumes service

Indigenous pay TV platform Telcom Satellite Television (TSTV) has resumed operations, after apparently winning what the company’s CEO described as “war” with “our enemies”.

Bright Echefu

Bright Echefu, CEO of the company, recently announced that the pay TV network is now active and ready to begin broadcasting operations. This announcement comes almost a year after its launch in November 2017.

According to Echefu, the company’s hiatus was necessary due to events that occurred after its launch, causing a host of issues to be dealt with. He stated that since TSTV announced its launch in 2017, the company has faced much opposition from what Echefu called “our enemies”.

“From the date we announced TSTV, it has been fight all the way. I doubt if a week passed without us quenching one fire or the other. We didn’t anticipate that there would be war. We were also not trained to fight in the arena we were pushed into,” said Echefu.

In order to get back on track, TSTV has partnered with Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat) to offer its subscribers premium content via 45 HD channels, which will be available free for a month.

“With our successful acquisition of five units of 35.5MHz transponders last two weeks on NigComSat – through our collaboration with Intertel, Federal Ministry of Communications and NigComSat – TSTV can now offer Nigerians the true meaning of video entertainment.

“Our TSTV has successfully migrated to Nigeria Communication Satellite. All channels in full HD. No one does that. More channels are being added daily,” Echefu added.

The channels presently available for free can be accessed on any satellite dish, according to the company.

“TSTV management, in appreciation to everyone, has decided that 45 TSTV premium HD channels will be available for free for another one month as we don’t intend to encrypt the channels now. You can use any dish at all, including the ones you are using for other operators, to track NigComSat today and let’s enjoy premium entertainment together.

TSTV also aims to launch the pay-as-you-use initiative but not much has been disclosed concerning that.

Asides from its partnership with NigComSat, TSTV also has a multi-transponder agreement with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), which will deliver a direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast service into Nigeria on satellite ABS-3A.

Speaking about this, Echefu stated: “We are excited to partner with ABS in delivering an array of high-quality programming. Our vision is to provide premium video experience to Nigerians at affordable prices.

“Our services will enable the viewers to experience HD and SD video and internet surfing at the same time. We are the first indigenous local operator in the region to launch such a premium platform with a variety of services to Nigerians, who have been so far paying exorbitant prices to foreign operators,” he concluded.

Also commenting on the partnership, Tom Choi, founder of ABS, said: “The addition of the Nigeria DTH platform from TSTV has undoubtedly strengthened ABS’s presence in Africa.”

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NITV launches next month

NITV founder Ijeoma Onah

The Nigerian International Television Summit (NITV) is set to take place in Lagos in September.

NITV will be hosting another edition of its international TV and content conference on September 5 at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. Several local and international TV industry professionals will converge at the summit to discuss the future of local TV content on a global scale.

The summit will feature presentations, panel and roundtable discussions, workshops and opportunities for networking. Various local television broadcasting companies will be represented at the event, including MultiChoice Nigeria, Play TV, Rave TV, EbonyLife TV, R2TV, Linda Ikeji TV, EMCOAN, Aforevo, Yanga TV and Zee Entertainment.

The conference will comprise varied discussions addressing the issues and challenges currently facing the Nigerian TV industry with the theme focused on Local for Global: Local Content Meeting Global Demand.

Speakers due to be part of these discussions include top media executives and thought leaders in the industry, such as Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV; John Ugbe, MD at MultiChoice Nigeria; Zachary Wazara, CEO of Kwese TV; Tosin Dokpesi, MD of AIT; Jared Murray-Bruce, executive director of STV; Ayo Animashuaun, CEO of HIP TV; and Emad Ahmad, general manager of Wazobia TV.

Interested participants can click here to register.

NITV was founded by Ijeoma Onah as a business summit that focuses on various aspects of the TV content business in Nigeria, from content production to licensing, distribution and post-production. It aims to help media executives understand the dynamics of the local and international TV content market. Content Nigeria is among the media partners.

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Iflix lines up news channel

Mark Britt of iflix

Video streaming service iflix will launch a news channel next month.

From September 3, iflix will air a 24-hour news channel on its platform, which will focus on broadcasting worldwide news stories from various reliable sources.

The SVoD company has partnered with other news channels in order to deliver this content. These channels include CNN, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, CGTN and CCTV 4.

Speaking about the channel, iflix CEO Mark Britt said: “Audiences today, particularly the rapidly growing youth segments, want immediate access to the stories and events that are shaping the world around them.

“Through iflix news, we are working with many of world’s most trusted and reputable news sources, to deliver timely, comprehensive stories and current affairs to customers with an exceptional user experience, completely on their own terms.”

Presently, iflix operates in more than 20 countries and is in partnership with about 220 studios and distributors internationally. In 2017, it launched in Nigeria, three years after it began operations in Malaysia.

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Price is Right seeks models

Producers of the Nigerian adaptation of US gameshow The Price is Right are searching for models to appear in the show.

Lagos-based Genesis Studios is seeking both male and female participants as it sets out to premiere the Nigerian version of one of the longest running TV shows in history.

Interested models can apply by visiting here www.thepriceisright.ng. Applicants are required to submit a one-minute video (not more than 5Mb) stating reasons why they think they should be selected. Other T&Cs apply. The application deadline is September 7.

The Price is Right Nigeria, produced in partnership with retail chain Spar, is currently offering the public an experience of the gameshow by engaging them in various activations through online and radio platforms. These will end on August 31.

The gameshow will air nationwide on various TV platforms, including DSTV, TVC, AIT and GOtv. It will consist of several games including Come On Down, where the audience guesses the retail price of an item to win various prizes; and Money Wheel, in which contestants spin a wheel in order to win prizes.

The local adaptation of the show will be presented by Frank Edoho, former host of Nigeria’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

In November 2017, Genesis Studios announced it had acquired the rights to produce The Price is Right in Nigeria, in association with the format’s international owner and distributor FremantleMedia.

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MultiChoice introduces new channel

MultiChoice’s Yolisa Phahle

MultiChoice has launched a new channel, Star Life, on its pay TV platforms.

Starting from this week, DSTV and GOtv subscribers will have access to a 24/7 English-language channel that promises to showcase over two decades’ worth of award-winning and A-list shows. This includes TV dramas, Bollywood movies, celebrity dance shows and blockbuster movies.

However, Star Life is exclusive to DSTV Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family and GOtv Max bouquet subscribers. It will air on DSTV channel 167 and GOtv channel 23.

Speaking about the new channel, Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, said: “Delighting our customers with exceptional content is key for our business.

“What makes Star Life a remarkable addition to our content offering is that it has content that is relatable, with shows that aim to tell stories about weaknesses, strengths, miracles and victories.”

Star Life is from Asian satellite TV group Star, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. Star is one of the leading companies in Indian TV programming and operates in 100+ countries worldwide.

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NBC to host 4th annual lecture

NBC director general Is’haq Modibo Kawu

Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is set to hold its fourth annual lecture this Thursday.

On August 30, the NBC – in conjunction with the Ministry of Information & Culture – will host its fourth annual lecture. This year, it is titled: Broadcasting & Nigeria’s Ethno-cultural & Religious Divide – Bridging the Gap.

The event is scheduled to take place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja at 9.00 with a number of dignitaries and thought-leaders expected to discuss the future of broadcasting in the nation.

These include: Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari; Kashim Shettima, state governor of Borno; Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information & Culture; and Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, director general of NBC.

Since its inception, the annual lecture is usually scheduled a few days after the NBC anniversary. It retains the tradition this year as the NBC celebrated its 26th anniversary on Friday, August 24.

During the celebration, Kawu addressed the commission’s staff, stating: “We play a vital role in helping to secure national peace and unity in our country and strive daily to license, monitor, regulate and ensure that all licencees walk the straight and narrow path of the Nigerian broadcasting code.

He continued: “It is a daunting task that we have to carry out on a 24-hour basis and the fact that our institution has gone to this height is precisely because the staff put their all into making the institution what it has become. The importance of today is part of the history of our country, the broadcasting industry in Nigeria and our role as regulator in the industry.”

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Diamond Bank launches TV show

Nigeria’s Diamond Bank has launched a TV show, titled I Am, showcasing entrepreneurs and small businesses in the country.

The show aims to celebrate entrepreneurs who are making impact in society. These include Bayo Ojelabi, who helps people with limb loss live better lives; and Ikenna Ubah, who advocates against deforestation.

The show takes viewers through the lifestyles of these entrepreneurs, who have all been trained and mentored by Diamond Bank through its business initiative, Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET).

The show airs every Saturday on Africa Magic Family (DSTV channel 154 and GOtv channel 2) at 9.30. Repeat broadcasts will air on Mondays at 11.00 and Thursdays at18.00.

In 2010, Diamond Bank launched a capacity building and business education initiative that supports and generates interest in entrepreneurship.

Over the years, the bank has been able to train thousands of budding entrepreneurs and contribute largely to small scale businesses by training about 50 entrepreneurs over a six-month period, annually.

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All set for Creative Nigeria Summit

The stage is set for the second edition of the Creative Nigeria Summit (CNS) tomorrow and Tuesday, with several international TV executives in town to speak at the event.

The CNS is a two-day conference held annually to bring together international and indigenous experts, thought leaders, industry players and renowned professionals within the Nigerian film and television industries to discuss issues affecting the business.

Topics will include the changing TV environment in Nigeria; the impact of new technologies; the latest trends in TV services and OTT solutions; as well as content marketing, acquisition and distribution.

Lagos-based Think Tank Media & Advertising (TTMA) is behind the event, in partnership with the Ministry of Information & Culture, and it will take place on July 16 and 17 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speakers include Kunle Falodun, VP of distribution, Africa, for Sony Pictures TV; Anahita Kheder, senior VP for the Middle East, Africa and South East Europe at FremantleMedia; and Mo Abudu, owner of EbonyLife TV.

Others who have flown in for the event include Emma Smithwick, head of scripted content at 40 Partners; Sanjay Salil, founder of MediaGuru; Jeff Kalligheri, CEO at LA’s Waterstone Entertainment; and Lindsey Oliver, CEO of Africa Mediaworks.

The chief host will be Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information & culture, while the guest of honour is Akinwumni Ambode, governor of the state of Lagos. The keynote speaker is Dr Babatunde Fowler, exec chairman of the FIRS.

“The aim of the summit is to build a structure that leaves behind a sustainable legacy and puts proper structures in place to develop the creative industry and diversify the Nigerian economy,” said Taiwo Olukunle, MD of TTMA.

For more information about the conference and to register, click here. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #CNS2018 and the Instagram account can be found here.

Momoh named president of Unilag Alumni

John Momoh, CEO of Channels Television Group and chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), has been named national president of the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni Association.

John Momoh

Momoh was selected from three other candidates and is himself a former student at Unilag.

According to Nigerian national newspaper ThisDay, a press statement was issued by the association, stating the results of the elections held at its recent annual general meeting.

Each member of the association ruling committee is expected to bring about innovations, thereby moving the association to ‘greater heights’. In lieu of this, Momoh is said to have provided a 10-point agenda for the association.

Meanwhile, before the announcement of Momoh’s new appointment, a report was published last week stating that Abdulateef Abdulsalam, a member of the association, had filed a suit to prevent the election.

He allegedly stated that some members of the association had planned to elect a new president undemocratically through “an illegal body known as body of past presidents, a search team and an unregistered 2015 constitution”.

The court adjourned the case to September 17 and ordered the suspension of any electoral activities by the committee.

However, since the recent announcement of the election results, no comment has been made by the claimant nor was any made by the Alumni Association addressing the allegations.

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Mandela gets pop-up TV channel

Nelson Mandela in 2008

African pay TV group MultiChoice is set to launch a pop-up TV channel in honour of the former president of South Africa and ANC leader, Nelson Mandela.

On Wednesday July 18, MultiChoice-owned pay TV platform DSTV will launch a pop-up channel dedicated to Mandela, aka Madiba, as a celebration of his legacy. The date also marks a 100 years since his birth.

The channel will broadcast for five days on DSTV channel 199. It will begin airing at 19.00 on that day and will be accessible to all DSTV subscribers.

Named Mandela 100 Tribute Channel, the channel was compiled by M-Net for DSTV. It will feature archive footage, films and documentaries of the late Mandela.

From Wednesday July 18 to Saturday July 21, the channel will air content including a four-part miniseries, films (such as The Long Walk to Freedom and Invictus) and documentaries. These include The Face of Unity; In the Name of Mandela; War & Peace; Mandela’s Unsung Heroes; and Countdown to Freedom.

Speaking about the channel, Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, said: “Around the globe, Nelson Mandela is revered as a hero of the struggle and as the man who led South Africa to democracy. While striving for justice and freedom and shaping a nation, he also changed the world with his humility and indomitable spirit.

“We are immensely proud to dedicate a unique pop-up channel to celebrate the life and legacy of this beacon of selflessness and reconciliation, who gave hope to millions.”

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Court arraigns Channels TV presenters

A number of Nigerian TV presenters are to be indicted as part of the ongoing trial of Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Three presenters of the Sunrise Daily show on Channels TV are set to be arraigned for allegedly making prejudicial statements concerning Metuh’s court case for alleged fraud.

Chamberlain Usoh, Nnetaobase Egne and Gimba Umar anchored the programme, in which they interviewed the lawyers from both sides of the case. These included Johnson Ojogbane of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), representing the prosecution; and Benchuks Nwosu, representing the defence.

However, according to the judge of the trial, Justice Okon Abang, this was an offensive act, as the channel and TV show allegedly took it upon itself to act as a court of law.

Justice Abang ordered that the presenters and their guest on the programme, Nwosu, be docked. Meanwhile, the court will determine whether the conversation held on the programme that day was prejudicial or not, as well as to make the media outfit explain why it engaged in a matter pending before the court.

However, the court did not arraign Ojogbane, who featured on the show via telephone.

The ongoing trial involves the case of Metuh who was accused of N400m (US$1.1m) fraud by the EFFC. He is standing trial on seven counts of money-laundering alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited.

The charges relate to money from the office of the former National Security Adviser in 2014 to campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Brands key to Nigerian format growth

MIPFORMATS: One of Nigeria’s prominent producers believes the region’s formats industry is at a tipping point, fuelled by growing investment from brands.

Neil Oyenekan

Neil Oyenekan, MD/CEO of Lagos-based Lighthouse Television & Filmworks, said funding from clients and their advertising agencies has become as important as that of TV networks, adding that the next few months will be crucial for the industry’s progression.

“Independent production companies are key to content creation in Nigeria but brand agencies are too,” said Oyenekan, who was speaking on a panel discussion here in Cannes about whether Nigeria will host the next formats boom.

So far, he said, the country’s biggest hits have been tried and tested adaptations of international formats such as Big Brother and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

But Oyenekan said that his company is close to unveiling a new format with African mobile telecoms company MTN Group, with details yet to be revealed, and claimed brands have been powering growth.

“We are only just getting to the phase where we are receiving investment and it’s coming from brands, not networks. By Mipcom we’ll be at a better point,” he added.

“Nigeria has a growing economy where brand investment is important and the Nollywood crowd is waiting to find the next big format. Upsurge in infrastructure is also happening, where big studios are being built – now all that’s missing is the content.”

Oyenekan was speaking at a conference session in Cannes, France, titled The Producers Toolbox: Will Nigeria Host The Next Format Boom? Four speakers addressed the topic, discussing the TV industry in Nigeria and the efforts to develop original TV formats and content for domestic and international markets.

Also on the panel were Chichi Nwoko, CEO of Hey, What’s On?; Olasupo Odebiyi, creative director of Pixelator Multimedia; and Duncan Irvine, CEO of TV production company Rapid Blue.

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