All posts by Ed

DStv airs new reality TV show

One Night With My Ex

Pan-African digital satellite TV provider DStv is set to start airing a new reality show tagged One Night With My Ex.

This is a show that gives people who are desperate for romantic closure the final opportunity to assess what went wrong in their past relationships and also to give room for forgiveness.

According to a statement from the company, each episode features two couples who make attempts to resolve their differences by dissecting matters ranging from infidelity, jealousy, deceit or lack of ambition with the aim of finding answers that could lead to healing and possible reunion.

“These lonely singles need their mysteries of lost love resolved. The reunion with the long-lost ex plays out in a single night in an apartment setting, in the hopes of leaving the experience feeling better than when they entered it. But, bringing former lovers together can be tricky and could result in turmoil for some,” the company said.

Reneilwe Sema, director of local entertainment channels at DStv channel M-Net, said: “One Night With My Ex is a reality show about ordinary people in search of closure. It’s about love, disappointment, heartache and second chances. We believe it will resonate with all our viewers, but for different reasons.”

Produced by South Africa-based Rapid Blue, the first season will debut on TV screens from April 19 for 13 instalments and will air every Friday at 8:00pm WAT on 1Magic (DStv channel 103).

Discovery rolls out new nets on StarTimes

Global real-life entertainment cablecaster Discovery is launching Discovery Real Time and Discovery Family channels across Africa on StarTimes digital TV platform.

In an effort to bring Discovery’s content and brands to new audiences, Amanda Turnbull, VP and general manager for Discovery in Africa and the Middle East said: “Expanding our portfolio with StarTimes to include the launch of Real Time and Discovery Family means we now offer their customers an enhanced mix of entertaining content for the whole family – from popular lifestyle programming on Real Time, fun edutainment on Discovery Family, to engaging real-life storytelling on ID.”

Discovery Real Time will accompany the network’s Discovery Family channel on the TV platform, which has been carrying it since December 2018. Chinese company StarTimes also carries Discovery’s true-crime network Investigation Discovery (ID) in Africa.

“At StarTimes we are excited to include more channels on our network from a global brand. We believe these new options will provide our customers with an exciting new mix of content that will allow customers more choice and value,” said Lily Meng, deputy general manager of StarTimes’ media division.

Apricot Africa Consulting has been appointed by Discovery to represent its channels in key territories across East, Central and West Africa. Apricot will also identify advertising, sponsorships and brand partnership opportunities in these key markets.

Real Time is Africa’s newest channel for female audiences, showcasing the best of Discovery’s female-targeted lifestyle, factual and wildlife content. Some highlights on real time include Married by Mum & Dad, Our Little Family and Reasonable Doubt.

Discovery Family combines fun entertainment shows with accessible documentary and pop-science series in a way that encourages viewers to be curious about the world around them. Some highlights include Tricks on The Street and Chopped Junior.

Discovery Family airs on StarTimes channel 222 while Real Time is on channel 161.

Adedeji exits CMA for ‘passion projects’

Olamide Adedeji

Olamide Adedeji, exec producer, creative director and broadcast content producer, has resigned from Consolidated Media Associates (CMA), parent company of Soundcity, Spice TV, Xchange.NG and Trybe TV.

With more than 13 years of experience that cuts across television and radio broadcast, live events, publishing and media production, Adedejihas decided to venture into the next phase of his life.

He said:“Moving from my CMA family is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it is important to always seek new challenges in life. I am very excited about my next phase.”

Having officially notified his CMA bosses of his decision in October last year, he is now confident the rest of the team he is leaving behind is skilled and equipped enough to take on what they have built over time.

“I am now focusing on passion projects these days. We have been scratching the surface of this entertainment / media business in Africa and the results are coming in; faster in this highly digital era with new opportunities in the landscape,” he said.

“I will keep contributing in my own way by pushing the agenda forward and beaming the continent to the world stage.”

Lagos-based CMA is also behind other media companies such as Televista, ONTV, ONMax, Urban Radio and Correct FM. CMA’s media networks reach approximately 100 million viewers in 70 countries, according to the company.

Abudu gets Medaille d’Honneur at MipTV

Mo Abudu with her Medaille d’Honneur at MipTV

Mo Abudu, CEO of Nigerian broadcaster Ebonylife TV, was honoured with a Medaille d’Honneur award at the international content market MipTV in Cannes this week.

The award was presented to the noted TV producer and Nollywood filmmaker by Camille Bidermann, executive director of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the organisation behind the International Emmys.

“A major part of my acceptance speech was dedicated to the creative business leaders in the room and the need for a partnership between our respective continents, so that our stories can be told with authenticity and produced to the best international standards,” said Abudu right after the Tuesday evening event.

“If these stories are told from both our perspectives, there is a captive audience on both sides of the Atlantic waiting to be entertained as never before and with creative business leaders adding significantly to their bottom line.”

Abudu shared the stage with three other people honoured with Medaille d’Honneur awards that night: US writer, showrunner and producer, Ilene Chaiken; chairman of Banijay Group in France, Stéphane Courbit; and MD of the UK’s Sky Vision, Jane Millichip.

“The first African to receive this award,” continued Abudu. “Basking in the glory of receiving my award. I share this award with the EbonyLife team, I thank all our partners, sponsors, my family, my dearest mother, my darling Temidee and Koko and of course my bestos that have helped and supported us on our journey. Most important of all, I had to give God all the glory. Only HE makes all these incredible things possible in my life!” she added.

MipTV’s Médailles d’Honneur are awarded to senior executives who have made a significant contribution to the world of television and the development of the international TV community through their talent and leadership.

Solesi: the future of African animation

Dami Solesi

The third annual regional preliminary competitions for the Annecy/MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde, organised by the African Animation Network (AAN), are set to take place from June 10 to 15 in France.

The mission of Animation du Monde is to give animation projects in developing industries around the world the opportunity to participate at the biggest animation-focused pitching forum in the world. The June event will see creatives from across the African continent vie for a place in the 2020 pitch competition in France.

Dami Solesi, CEO and creative director of Lagos-based Smids Animation Studios, is one of the duo selected to represent Africa at the Animation du Monde Finals coming up in June, 2019 and Content Nigeria interviewed her to find out her views about the upcoming finals.

“I have always been passionate about animation and cartoons. I have a mission to tell African stories through animation to a global audience with a unique focus on kids and family entertainment, which we have started with our miniseries Boxed and now our new TV series The Makerbolts,” Solesi said.

“These two shows are just the first in an array of content we hope to bring to our global audience. We all know how the content landscape is changing around the world and Africa can’t be left out. That’s why we are here,” she added.

“We are extremely excited to be one of two companies representing Africa and the first Nigerian studio. We can’t wait for June. It has been a long, hard journey. We decided to go this route about three years ago. Though it has had its ups and downs, we are extremely honoured to have got this far and do hope to put Africa – and specifically Nigeria – on the map by winning at the 2019 Animation du Monde this June.

“This is our first global nomination and we are so excited. This is the first of many, from here we believe the sky would be our beginning so we intend to win many more nominations,” she added.

The Makerbolts from Smids Animation Studios

She also elaborated on her project, The Makerbolts (52×11’), which is a 3D animated TV series. “We are super excited about the show. It follows the adventures of best friends Zina, Bini and Toni in a fictional city of Lagville where they build all sorts of fun gadgets with scraps from an abandoned junkyard,” Solesi explained.

“Each episode they have challenges they have to solve, ranging from everyday challenges to fun adventures to solutions that help the larger community.

“With this show we hope to showcase the ingenuity of these children in a fun and adventurous way. We do hope it not only entertains our audience but also shows how smart and resourceful kids in Africa can be,” she said.

“We have high hopes for the event: to pitch our show, win the competition and sign a deal to produce our show as well. But we also hope to showcase some of our other shows to content with buyers. However, we do hope to learn about the global content market first-hand.

Solesi said she was hopeful for the future of the animation industry in Nigeria and Africa and firmly believed that Africans can achieve massive feats in the content industry.

“We’ve already seen it done in Nollywood so we aren’t far away. The world would have to see and stand up for our success and this is the reason why – even in the face of massive challenges – I still keep going. And to anyone out there who’s got a dream, I say keep dreaming and working hard; it’ll happen for us all.”

Smids Animation Studios is one of Nigeria’s foremost animation studios and focuses on developing creative content for kids and family entertainment meant for audiences around the world. The company offers end-to-end production services for high-end commercials, TV series and films.

At the 2018 continental finals at Discop in Johannesburg, Solesi’s The Makerbolts and The Trouble Makers presented by Nildo Essa from Mozambique won the two places to represent Africa at the 2019 Animation du Monde Finals.

TV project for African villages underway

The project to bring satellite television to remote African villages, a result of collaboration between Africa and China, is already having an impact in Nigeria.

Justin Zhang

Announced at the Johannesburg summit between Africa and China in 2015, the project is named Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages.

It is not only enabling African families in rural areas to have access to digital TV signals with high-quality images and TV programmes but it is also strengthening the partnership between China and Africa.

There are already significant improvements in the communities where this project has been carried out, which is being made possible by Chinese-owned pay TV firm StarTimes.

As stated by Justin Zhang, CEO of StarTimes Nigeria: “StarTimes has installed two solar power projector TVs for the communities, one 32-inch digital TV set with a solar system and 20 satellite dishes and decoders, where they can watch more than 100 international and local channels.”

Xi Jinping

Aside from giving those in rural communities access to satellite TV, this project has led to the creation of jobs. “Nigerians from various villages have been trained on how to recharge, operate and provide the required maintenance support for all the products installed,” Zhang added.

Feedback was received from some communities in Abuja that had already started enjoying TV services provided by the project. Dimas Daniel, district head of the Hulumi community, commended the project and discussed the benefits to his community.

“The project being executed by StarTimes has positively changed our community, because it has been able to connect the Hulumi community to the global society,” said Daniel.

Bako Auta, another resident of the Hulumi community, said: “I remember how happy we were that evening when StarTimes distributed the decoders and TV sets and other equipment to us in the village. I also remember that so many people had to use generators to view the programme because it was so interesting and we have continued to benefit from it.

“My favourite channels are the foreign ones featured by StarTimes. I prefer them because they tell me what life is like on the side of the world,” Auta continued.

“I have seen so many things happening in the international scene across the sports sector, mechanised agriculture and the cultivation of land in some countries that have the technical ability to engage in it. I love movies and the diplomatic relationships between countries and news among other things.

“I learnt a lot from the channels and I sometimes practice what I have learned through the StarTimes TV programs,” he added.

Meanwhile, a resident of Kpadama village said: “Since the project was commissioned, we have had the opportunity to watch so many happenings that we were not aware of.”

Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, expressed China’s willingness to continue to bring projects that will improve the lot of Nigerians and Africans at large while Xi Jinping, president of China, has continued to express the commitment of his government to boosting the quality of life in Africa.

DStv launches new SS channels in HD

Gideon Khobane

Pay TV platform DStv has launched four new SuperSport channels namely SS1, SS4, SS11 and SS12 in high-definition (HD) in order to give subscribers a better quality picture experience.

The introduction of these new channels is an attempt to make DStv stand out from other pay TV operators. Subscribers now have access to watch sports such as rugby, golf and MultiChoice Diski Shield Matches, Premier League and Italian Serie A games alongside UFC and EFC fight events in HD picture quality.

“SuperSport is committed to achieving a world-class viewing experience for all customers to enjoy and by providing our viewers with cutting-edge technology like HD capabilities, DStv aims to further enhance customer satisfaction,” said Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport.

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Broadcast stations receive FG contracts

Lai Mohammed

The federal government of Nigeria has approved contracts worth over US$3.6m in an effort to strengthen broadcast stations for the proper dissemination of news and information.

Minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed made this known at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that took place in Abuja recently. The media organisations to benefit from these contracts include the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). 

During the FEC meeting, Mohammed said: “I also presented three memos on behalf of three parastatals in my ministry: the NTA, the News Agency of Nigeria and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.

“The memo by the NTA was for approval for the award of contract for the procurement of cameras, microphones and television packs for a total sum of N283,813,990.75 (US$788,000).” He further stated that only two attempts had been made in over 20 years to upgrade the NTA’s equipment.

“Also, the News Agency of Nigeria also presented their memo. But, here, largely they wanted vehicles for them to gather and disseminate news. So, the contract for the procurement of 15 vehicles from Peugeot Nigeria Ltd was awarded to them for N148, 740,900 (US$413,000),’’ he added.

Channels TV wins AITEO-NFF award again

Nigerian broadcaster Channels Television has been honoured with the AITEO-Nigeria Football Federation award for the second year in a row.

Austin Okon-Akpan

The Channels International Kids Cup tournament, a CSR programme that began life in 2009, previously received this award for helping to develop an interest in football among kids in primary school below the age of 13.

The second edition of the AITEO-NFF awards took place recently in Lagos, and winning this award for the second time shows the media company’s commitment to promoting football at the grassroots level.

The award was received by Channels TV sports correspondent Austin Okon-Akpan, who stated that the aim of all this programme is to encourage young boys to love football and education.

“You can learn good things when you play football. We are teaching them integrity and honesty,” he said. The Channels International Kids Cup tournament has now become an international event that features participants from the Benin Republic and Ghana.

StarTimes ON offers new data bundle

The StarTimes ON mobile app now has a new data bundle for mobile internet subscribers, following the collaboration between the pay TV company and telecommunications company MTN.

With various new features on the mobile app, MTN subscribers now have access to unlimited entertainment and video-on-demand services at reduced costs, according to StarTimes.

Tony Tuo, director of OTT at StarTimes Nigeria, said: “All MTN subscribers would also enjoy five premium channels that offer news, music, religion, movies and other entertainment content for free on StarTimes ON, a service that users of other networks have to pay to access.

“StarTimes ON currently boasts of 3.5 million users in Nigeria and over 12 million across Africa. This makes its partnership with MTN the latest in an industry where it has become a common trend for telecoms and video operators to partner towards an effective delivery in a market where VoD and live streaming is on the rise,” he added.

StarTimes ON currently offers more than 70 channels of which over 40 of them are free to users. Of these, more than 40 are StarTimes-owned channels showing programmes ranging from sports to news, movies, entertainment, music and other content.

Abudu, Ikeji represent Nigeria in Cannes

Mo Abudu in Cannes

Top executives from the Nigerian TV industry were out in force on the first day of MipTV in Cannes today, with EbonyLife TV boss Mo Abudu and noted vlogger and web TV celebrity Linda Ikeji doing the circuit in the Palais des Festival.

Abudu was in Cannes to receive a 2019 Médailles d’Honneur award at the MipTV conference and market, alongside three other recipients: US writer/showrunner Ilene Chaiken; Banijay Group chairman Stéphane Courbit; and Sky Vision MD Jane Millichip.

The award is given to senior executives who have contributed to the development of the international TV community and to the world of TV. Abudu, who is a member of the International Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences board, is one of the most prolific producers in Africa.

The Médailles d’Honneur awards were handed out at a prestigious cocktail and awards event tonight in Cannes, at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel, attended by the great and good of the global TV industry.

Abudu was also in Cannes to moderate a panel session at the conference today, titled Global Hotspot: Producers To Watch From Africa. Joining the EbonyLife chief on stage were South Africa’s Kagiso Lediga, creator and executive producer of Queen Sono (Netflix); Shirley Frimpong-Manso, producer/CEO at Ghana’s Sparrow Productions; Courtney Williams, European regional director at Parrots Analytics; and Rethabile Ramaphakela, producer at Burnt Onion Productions of South Africa.

Linda Ikeji in the Palais des Festival for MipTV

The session explored how the appetite for new and original content has shined the spotlight on the vibrant and rising TV and film industries in Africa. This session focused on leading producers, hailing from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, whose stories and talent have been embraced by international audiences.

After the session, Abudu said: “Exciting times ahead for the continent, but if there was a takeaway this afternoon it’s that more of us need to be out there sharing our stories. We need to get out there engaging with and speaking with international studios and production companies. We need to share our story ideas, development slates and then and only then can we truly change the narrative.”

Ikeji, boss of web TV service Linda Ikeji TV (LITV), was in Cannes not only to go to MipTV and promote the LITV catalogue to international buyers but also to attend the Nigerian International TV Summit (NITV) events that are scheduled to take place in France this week, including a conference in Cannes and another in Paris.

“I’m honoured to be invited to showcase our work and plans for Africa,” Ikeji said of her trip to MipTV. In 2012, US business magazine Forbes named Ikeji as one of the most prominent women in Africa, while last year she won the United Nations’ Global Leadership award.

Both Abudu and Ikeji posted pictures of themselves in Cannes via social media.

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CBN unveils N200bn in loans for creatives

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as other banks have started the disbursement of single-digit loans to companies in the creative industries in Nigeria to boost the sector.

Central Bank of Nigeria

The move was made known at a media briefing held in Lagos recently under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee.

The CBN’s decision came after calls for such a move at the Creative Nigeria Summit that took place on July 16 and 17, 2018. The event brought together thought leaders, industry experts and renowned professionals within the film industry to discuss issues affecting the industry.

Its aim, as stated by Taiwo Olukunle, MD of event organiser Think Tank Media & Advertising, was “to build a structure that leaves a sustainable legacy and put proper structures in place to develop the creative industry and diversify the Nigerian economy.”

Based on this, Ahmed Abdullahi, director of the banking supervision department at the CBN, has decided the economy and lending to the private sector has improved due to the high record of foreign portfolio inflows (FPIs) of US$6 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

Group MD and CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe said: “At the Bankers’ Committee, we got the approval to take it to the next level, which is simply to do a final presentation and share it with the market. So by next week there will be an announcement for people who want to participate in each of these segments.

“The specific amount will depend on which of the strata you fall into and what you are doing. The loans are for a maximum of 10 years, they are single-digit interest rate loans and reflective of the fact that in these industries, what you require is long-term financing at single digits; while we will ask for collateral it will be flexible.” 

Kennedy Uzoka, MD of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), was of the opinion that something needed to be done for Nigeria to diversify its economy from the standpoint of exports.
“We interrogated this and worked with the different agencies of government across the continent and also we came back home to check what they have. We found out that indeed we have a lot of policies, but the challenge has been executed and we narrowed this down to seven broad areas.

“Typically, finance is one of the major challenges; we have policies, logistics – our ports don’t open on weekends – and in terms of the policies that drive exports, we believe that a lot of them need to be changed.

He added: “Fortunately, the CBN has different types of funds, so we looked at the existing funds so we don’t reinvent the wheel and so we looked at which of the funding can address the current challenges.

“Based on the meeting we had, we are going to be lending at single-digit, up to a maximum of 10 years and we are going to devote N200 billion (US$556m) to support this. That will change the narrative for export,” Kennedy said. It was concluded that this loan will help in the creation of over 300,000 jobs in the creative industry.

GOtv adds channels for northern subs

Nigerian pay TV platform GOtv has added nine new local channels to its subscribers in Jos and Kaduna in line with the company’s goal to not only promote Nigeria’s heritage but also make diverse cultural content available on all its platforms.

John Ugbe

Subscribers on the GOtv Max and Plus packages will have access to these new channels, which will be added to the DTT platform this week. The channels include Spice TV, MiTV, Wap TV, ITV Benin, Biscon, Liberty TV, Tiwan Tiwan, R2TV and Rave.

CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said: “One of our value propositions is to ensure that we have a varied range of local channels that cut across different genres for a more wholesome viewing experience for our customers.

“These channels offer originally produced programmes that cater to the different tastes and preferences of our customers. We are also excited to offer these channels as part of our efforts in enabling Nigeria achieve a speedy digital switch over.”

GOtv’s Max package currently offers over 20 channels showing news, entertainment and movies. The platform is part of South Africa-based pay TV group MultiChoice.

Thousands at MTV Shuga auditions

MTV Shuga participants

The fourth season of drama series MTV Shuga held its auditions last week at Classique Events Centre Oregun in Ikeja.

The venue was filled with thousands of people as contestants travelled from all over Nigeria to be part of the auditions.

The judges were Nigerian television and film director Tope Oshin; head writer for MTV Shuga Nigeria, Kemi Adesoye; Nigerian TV producer and filmmaker Tolulope Ajayi; and senior producer at the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Wyn Baptiste.

One of the participants from Edo state, Adesewa said: “I left my job as an engineer to make it to this audition because acting is my passion, and I made a promise to myself that I’ll keep knocking on the door of fame till it opens for me.”

Another participant, Promise Okpala said: “It’s awesome…really awesome. I have followed all the six auditions of MTV Shuga and coming for the auditions has always been on my bucket list. So when I found out they were having it here; I was like this is the chance to become the next big thing.”

MTV Shuga stars such as Timini Egbuson, Jemima Osunde, Bukola Oladipupo, as well as MTV’s video jockeys Ehiz, Sammy Walsh and Nenny B were at the venue to show support for these upcoming stars. The series originally premiered in Nigeria in 2013 and the new season will start airing in September 2019.

MTV Shuga Naija is a multi-sectoral partnership involving the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and is supported by MTV Base Africa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Supersport to air the 2019 Okpekpe race

There will be a live broadcast of the seventh edition of the IAAF Silver Label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race on pay TV channel SuperSport on May 25, 2019.

Organised by sports marketing firm Pamodzi, this is the only road race recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in Nigeria and it is the first IAAF Silver Label 10km race of the year.

The race’s director of organisation, Zack Amodu, said: “We have sealed an agreement with our broadcast partner SuperSport for a live telecast of the event. SuperSport has been our broadcast partner since the start of the race in 2013 and what we have just done is to ensure the race goes on live television again.”

“SuperSport will start running the promo as one of its exciting packages that sports lovers and non-sports lovers can look forward to in the month of May. Repeats of last year’s historic race are now running on SuperSports Blitz up till April 17,” he added.

The pay TV channel received IAAF recognition via the bronze label rating in 2015 and also the first to be upgraded to a silver label status last year.

“We are delighted to be a strong part of the race and its success story. The Okpekpe 10km road race has placed Nigeria on the map and as a sporting destination of choice. We at SuperSport associate with events that have great impact on the lives of the people and the environment,” the pay TV channel said.

SuperSports Blitz is on channel 200 on DStv.

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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