All posts by Gary

NITV heads to France

The Nigerian International TV Summit (NITV) is scheduled to hold a number of industry events in France next month, including a conference in Cannes and another in Paris.

Between April 9 and 10, there will be a two-day event in Cannes called the Creative Africa Pavilion, as part of the MipTV conference. The Pavilion will house panel sessions between 4pm and 6pm, aimed at exploring ways African companies can work with international ones.

On April 12, NITV will host a roundtable discussion in Paris to explore how French and Nigerian companies can work together. This forum will bring together producers and distributors to highlight and develop content cooperation and exports.

At NITV’s events in France there will be roundtable discussions centred on the Nigerian TV business landscape, the opportunities available within the Nigerian audio-visual and TV ecosystem, film funding and production in Nigeria as well as other related TV topics.

There will also be specialised sessions on understanding coproduction with Nigeria, commissioning and discovering new projects from Nigeria, and networking opportunities.

Some new Nigerian TV series in development for international coproduction will be revealed in an effort to show that the best TV content can be found in Nigeria and also to create international visibility for Nigerian independent TV producers.

These projects include True Blue by Charles Novia, founder of November Productions; Broken by Agatha Amata, CEO of RaveTV; Maskers by Victor Okpala, CEO of Dope 7 Media; and The Mystic River by CEO Native Media, Rogers Ofime.

Other highlights include Kosi by Izu Osuigwe, CEO of Forest Media; The Masters Plan by Blessing Egbe, CEO of B’Concept Productions; The Redemption by Kingsley Omoefe, CEO of Golden Heritage; Hunted Heart by Emeka Ossai, CEO, Golden Pyramids Productions; Sinking Sand by Jerry Isichei, CEO, Daches Multimedia; Darker Shade of Black by Greg Odutayo, CEO, Royal Roots Communication; The Prenup by Paul Igwe, CEO, Whitestone Cinemas; and Princes and Paupers by Ariyike Oladipo, CEO, Apreel Ventures.

As well as NITV’s French events, the company is planning its NITV Summit in Lagos in September and another event in Los Angeles in November.

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Abudu to receive Médailles d’Honneur

Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife TV, is set to receive the 2019 Médailles d’Honneur award at the MipTV conference and market.

Mo Abudu

Reed Midem, organiser of the event, said the award ceremony will take place on April 8 at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel, Cannes, France.

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 and Sciences board, is one of the most prolific producers in Africa.

She launched EbonyLife TV in 2013 and has since produced a number of movies, including Fifty in 2015, The Wedding Party 2 in 2017 and Chief Daddy in 2018.

Abudu said: “I am thankful and overjoyed at the news of being one of the four recipients of the 2019 Médailles d’Honneur at MipTV. I am so excited and most grateful for this recognition of our work and, more than anything, that our stories are now making a difference across the globe.”

Abudu will be receiving her Médailles d’Honneur award in Cannes alongside three other 2019 recipients: US writer/showrunner Ilene Chaiken; Banijay Group chairman Stéphane Courbit; and Sky Vision MD Jane Millichip.

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Perfect Wedding adapted for Nigeria

Reality show Our Perfect Wedding, which began in 2011 in South Africa, has arrived in Nigeria.

Vanessa Williams

Having run successfully in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, the format has been adapted for Nigeria, following local couples as they plan and organise their weddings.

The show reveals all that goes on when making preparations, including venue arrangements, traditional ceremonies and the drama that accompanies in-laws while trying to achieve the perfect wedding.

Coproduced by Adeola Oloyede, the show has Suleiman Kazeem as the executive producer and former Big Brother housemate Vanessa Williams (aka Vandora) as the host.

According to Williams: “This is an exciting opportunity for me, and viewers can expect to be completely entertained by this show and they should expect nothing less than the best from the leading home of entertainment in Africa.”

Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer at broadcaster MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “The show has been successful in other African markets like South Africa and Kenya, and we’re elated to bring it to Nigeria.

“Viewers will experience the magic and celebration of love. Of all the awesome wedding shows we’ve had on DStv, this without a doubt holds a lot of drama, fun and excitement for the viewers and we are delighted to bring this truly interesting show to Nigeria.”

Our Perfect Wedding Nigeria airs at 18.00 on Sundays on DStv Channel 151.

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MultiChoice plans BBNaija 2019

Pay TV group MultiChoice has outlined its plans for the fourth season of reality show Big Brother Naija.

The company has launched a pop-up channel on its pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv that began airing this month. The channel airs events and highlights from the two previous seasons and will run till March 31 on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 12.

In addition to this, there will also be a reunion show that will air from March 18 to 31 and will show stars that were in the BBNaija Double Wahala season.

Subscribers to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family, Access, GOtv Max and Plus packages have access to the pop-up channel.

Auditions for this year’s edition of BBNaija took place across eight cities in Nigeria and the show is set to take place in Nigeria as well.

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BBC World Service launches free app

A new app has been developed and launched by BBC World Service in partnership with US-based Zeno Media.

The app can be used to access news and radio programmes in places that have low internet coverage or where mobile data prices are exorbitant.

Users can either use their data, wi-fi or make use of the ‘call-to-listen’ function ,which is as cheap as a local call, in order to access content.

The new app is currently available globally for iOS and Android users with the exception of the UK while the call-to-listen function will be available in only 35 markets at the moment, including Pakistan and Nigeria.

Zeno Media is a US company that develops apps and phone services for broadcasters.

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Superstory joins Silverbird TV

An award-winning drama described as Nigeria’s most watched TV series has been made available on the Silverbird TV (STV) network.

Wale Adenuga Jnr

Superstory airs on Thursdays at 21.00 on the terrestrial network across the cities of Lagos, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt, Benin, Abuja, Jos and Awka.

Wale Adenuga Jnr, MD at Superstory producer Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP), said: “Our company has entertained millions of families across Nigeria for several decades and one of the things that has made this possible is our continued effort to listen to feedback and satisfy the desires of all stakeholders.

“Hence, the expansion of Superstory to STV is in line with innumerable requests from audience members across Nigeria, as well as several advertisers who have supported Superstory over the years.”

As well as the STV deal, Superstory still airs on DStv Channel 252; StarTimes 109; GOtv 92 and 192; PlayTV 804; NTA; and WapTV.

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Interswitch SPAK contest winner crowned

The winner of the first televised Interswitch SPAK national science competition has been announced.

Akachukwu Anumudu receives his Interswitch SPAK prize

Sixteen-year-old Akachukwu Anumudu of Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Anthony, Lagos beat eight other contestants to take the prize.

After coming top in various levels of the competition, Akachukwu won the grand prize of N7.5m worth of tertiary education scholarship spread over five years, a laptop and a monthly stipend during the course of the scholarship.

He said: “Whenever I see people win at competitions, I always wondered if I could ever get that lucky. But now I know it’s beyond luck and I am glad that all my sleepless nights and hard work paid off. I am very grateful to Interswitch because they made me who I am today. Before now, I was very shy and reserved, but my whole experience at the Interswitch SPAK 1.0 has helped build my confidence and prepared me for the future.”

Mitchell Elegbe, group MD and founder of pan-African electronic payment and digital commerce company Interswitch Group, said: “You have emerged winner of this competition and that makes you a very special person. However, you must remember that although having a high IQ is necessary, it is not sufficient for success in life. We hope you will take all you have learnt during this competition and apply it where necessary. We wish you greater success in life and we will be with you every step of the way.”

Henry Umunna of the Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja was the first runner-up who won N4m-worth of scholarship spread over three years, while Onyedikachi Kanu, from Dority International School, Aba, won N1m for one year.

The innovation challenge was won by Team Neptune, made up of nine SS2 students who developed a technology solution that provides Nigerians with easy access to National Health Insurance.

They were given a medal and a laptop each as well as a chance to take part in a two-week internship programme at Interswitch’s head office in Lagos.

Other prize winners were awarded N500, 000 each as consolation prizes for being in the top nine, while the last woman standing, Glory Okoli, was given an additional N250, 000.

The initiative was spearheaded by Interswitch and the show aired on DSTV’s Africa Magic Channel 154.

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Yanga! TV airs daily live election show

Yanga! TV is broadcasting a series of live daily programmes on the presidential election titled Nigeria Decides Election Special.

The show is airing from 11.00 to noon with a repeat at 21.00 on Sky 453 and Freesat 171.

It features guest panelists discussing the eventual outcome of the election, which has been postponed from February 16 to 23.

Members of the panel include international journalist and public speaker, Mark Eddo, award-winning broadcast journalist Juliana Olayinka and broadcaster and moderator Priscilla Nwikpo.

There are also interviews with political commentators and debates on the election at Yanga! TV’s London studio.

Guests participating in these discussions include APC UK chair Dr Phillip Idaewor; political analyst Lagun Akinloye; political strategist and author Godson Azu; political journalist and analyst Gbola Ola; journalist Sulaiman Aledeh; and Nigerian-born politician, UK Labour councillor and campaigner Susan Fajana-Thomas.

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Arise TV centre to offer election analysis

Arise TV, the broadcast arm of newspaper ThisDay, has launched an Election Analysis Centre (EAC) in preparation for the forthcoming general election in Nigeria.

Idayat Hassan

The EAC opened on February 14 having been set up in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the National Democratic Institute, online newspaper TheCable and other Nigerian media organisations.

In tandem with the EAC opening, a new TV programme titled #Decision2019 was launched recently in partnership with Arise TV. The EAC is situated in the Central Business District of Abuja.

CDD director Idayat Hassan said: “Together with the station, we shall televise the analysis centre on the flagship programme. This is to create a platform for impartial analysis using evidence and data to explain polls to the citizens.

“The programme will also inform voters about procedural matters and arrangements that are made for the conduct of the elections, serve as a non-partisan platform for INEC [the Independent National Electoral Commission ] to communicate its messages to the electorate.”

About 3,500 trained observers will be deployed to closely monitor the elections in all 36 states. According to Hassan, there will also be a GPS-enabled CDD election tracker to enable proper accreditation and voting processes as well as a fact-checking team to counter fake news during the elections.

The EAC is intended to be the one-stop shop for analysis and plans to give accurate reports on events before, during and after the election. Arise TV can be accessed in more than 56 countries.

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Nigerian broadband usage hits 60 million

About 60 million Nigerians now make use of broadband internet, according to professor Umaru Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Umaru Danbatta

Danbatta was speaking during a National Broadband Plan conference organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies in Abuja last week.

The TV white space, which refers to the broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum that are not being used, will soon be utilised to strengthen the nation’s broadband penetration.

Danbatta said this is being made possible by the telecommunications regulatory agency and the NCC.

According to Tech Republic, the spread of broadband is possible as a result of the gaps left by TV networks, which is similar to what is used for 4G.

Danbatta claimed that even though the rate at which broadband has penetrated the nation has increased in the past five years, broadband coverage in rural communities is quite low since they still use 2G networks.

“The implementation of the commission’s road map has resulted in the attainment of 30.9% broadband penetration as of November 2018,” he said.

“What this connotes is that a total of 58,965,478 were connected to the broadband networks out of 108,457,051 internet subscribers on the nation’s telecoms networks. The figure rose in December to 60,087,199, taking the penetration to 31.48%.”

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VJ Adams’ Off The Top back on TV

Adams Ibrahim Adebola, alias VJ Adams

Weekly show Off The Top, fronted by TV presenter and video jockey Adams Ibrahim Adebola (aka VJ Adams), has returned to Nigerian TV screens.

The recently relaunched unscripted show celebrates some of the most influential people from various sectors of the economy. So far, the show has featured Nigerian celebrities such as Niniola, Ice Prince and Bisola Aiyeola.

Adams said: “I’m doing the show to celebrate diverse success stories from influential people ranging from music, reality TV and politics.”

The show airs on 1Music on Saturdays at 13.00 and is repeated on Wednesdays at 19.00 and Fridays at 13.00.

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MultiChoice lines up new DStv channels

Pay TV company MultiChoice Nigeria has introduced three more NTA channels as well as a local entertainment network to expand its content offering on its DStv platform.

John Ugbe

The channels are NTA 2, NTA Parliament, NTA News 24 and POP Central TV. NTA 2 airs on DStv 369 and is a free-to-air entertainment channel offering music, movies and talkshows.

NTA Parliament airs on DStv 370 and looks at issues affecting Nigeria. It also covers live sittings of the legislative arms of government, the National Assembly (state and federal), House of Representatives and the Senate.

NTA News 24, which airs on DStv 419, is an English-language general news channel that provides news about various sectors of the economy, including analysing topical issues that affect the country.

POP Central TV airs on DStv 189 and is a pop-culture entertainment platform that focuses on expressing diverse culture through the use of content creators and other interest groups.

John Ugbe, MD of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “With the launch of these channels, we have once again enhanced our local content offering and provided our customers with more options to choose from. The new NTA channels and POP Central TV channel will showcase authentic Nigerian content from news to general entertainment that will keep customers in and out of Nigeria abreast of the happenings within the country.”

The new channels are available on DStv Premium, Compact +, Compact, Family and Access packages.

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Women’s World Show set for revival

Nigerian TV executive Clara Chizoba Kronborg, CEO of Denmark-based prodco CCK Ventures, is set to relaunch her programme Women’s World Show.

Clara Chizoba Kronborg

The show launched in Nigeria in 2010 and has since been rebooted and is back to tackle issues affecting women.

After travelling the world and gaining a better understanding of the rights women have in society, Kronborg said she saw the need to revive the show.

“Eight years has passed, we are in a better place now and Women’s World Show has been reborn – same concept, same passion, same goal and better knowledge,” she said.

“Women’s World Show has evolved, I am mentally, physically and academically equipped, and have travelled around the globe. I have a better knowledge of the world beyond Nigeria and Africa and the knowledge has given me greater insight on issues that affect African women and children and put me in a better position to discuss and confront them.”

Women’s World Show is a talkshow that uses the success stories of women to inspire and motivate other women. Women from different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds are interviewed with the aim of making their voices heard.

The relaunch date has not yet been announced, nor has a TV network been announced. However, a YouTube channel has been created for the show.

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Singers form TV production outfit

Aituaje Iruobe (aka Waje) and Omawumi

Popular Nigerian singers Aituaje Iruobe (aka Waje) and Omawumi have collaborated to create a new TV and media company named Hernanes Media.

With their talent, industry know-how, business sense and combined 25 years’ media experience, Waje and Omawumi have decided to join forces.

“We have a combined over 25 years of experience working in and navigating the media industry, which we believe we can put to good use to fuel a new generation,” said Waje.

“We are joining forces with the industry to start reflecting our stories, our story of consistency, hard work, collaboration and being the solution and we intend to be more expressive and innovative about it.”

Hernanes Media will provide services that include brand event activation, creative digital marketing, TV commercials, film and TV production and content curation.

The company was founded in order to create solutions and provide innovative and creative ideas for the industry and will open its doors soon, said Waje and Omawumi.

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NATCOMS calls on Multichoice over billing

Pay TV company MultiChoice has been urged by the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) to introduce pay-as-you-view billing.

Deolu Ogunbanjo

The president of NATCOMS, Deolu Ogunbanjo, gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said that despite the fact MTN began per-second billing in South Africa in 2003, it claimed it was impossible in Nigeria. Because of that, cases were filed by NATCOMS against MTN, prompting Globacom to opt for per-second billing.

Likewise, Ogunbanjo felt it was unfortunate Multichoice said it was impossible to offer pay-as-you-view in the country and that the same services should be applicable to any satellite company that wants to operate in Nigeria.

“The question is, ‘Is pay-as-you-view available in South Africa, where Multichoice originated?’ That we have to find out before we start to fight,” he said.

“So let us do some research. If we can see any country where pay-as-you-view billing is currently used, then we will challenge Multichoice to also give us the service. Let them find the software that will ensure pay-as-you-view billing, otherwise we will boycott them.”

Although MultiChoice had earlier stated it would not operate the pay-per-view tariff system in Nigeria despite demands for it, NATCOMS will only do what the Consumer Protection Council has requested from Multichoice concerning its services, he added.

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NBC unveils PlayPVOD service

Olumade Adesemowo, Funmi Adenaike, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu and Ayo Adesanya

Nigerian cable network PlayTV launched its PlayPVOD service on January 30 at the 2019 general elections press conference at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)’s headquarters in Abuja.

The director general of the NBC, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, announced the launch, saying that video-on-demand was part of the value-added service from digital switch-over (DSO).

He added that as part of DSO in Nigeria, NBC would distribute more than 5,000 set-top boxes across hospitals, public institutions, police stations, houses of assembly and other federal premises.

As well as Kawu, the launch was attended by Funmi Adenaike, general manager of PlayTV; Olumade Adesemowo, MD of Inview Nigeria; Nollywood actress Ayo Adesanya; and Kannywood actor Uzee Usman.

The PlayPVOD service offers premium Nollywood movies through the use of a customised memory dongle and brings the latest Nollywood blockbusters direct to a free set-top box.

More than 30 channels will be available on free TV. They will only be available in Abuja and Kaduna initially but will soon be offered in other states.

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Henshaw joins CBS global talent show

Nigerian actress Kate Henshaw has been chosen by US TV network CBS as one of the international judges on its new talent show The World’s Best.

Kate Henshaw

Nollywood regular Henshaw will join American stars such as Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill and RuPaul as judges on the show, which is being produced by MGM Television Group chairman Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice) and Warner Bros unscripted president Mike Darnell (American Idol, Little Big Shots).

The World’s Best is a high-profile global talent competition series that will see performers evaluated by judges as well as an international panel of 50 of the world’s most accomplished experts in various fields of entertainment.

The 10-episode series, to be hosted by Emmy winner James Corden, is set to premiere in the US on February 3 following Super Bowl LIII on CBS. The show is being produced by Warner Horizon, MGM and Corden’s company Fulwell 73 Productions, with Warner Bros handling global sales.

“I’m totally excited to finally announce that I am one of the international judges, proudly representing Nigeria in the new CBS global talent show The World’s Best,” said Henshaw, who has starred in 45 Nollywood films including When the Sun Sets and Stronger than Pain. AMAA winner Henshaw is also a judge on Nigeria’s Got Talent.

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Glam serves up Oputa on ABN TV

Uriel Oputa fronts Glam Africa Kitchen

Former Big Brother Naija housemate Uriel Oputa will feature in a new TV cooking show created by Glam Africa Magazine.

Glam Africa Kitchen launched recently in London, attended by celebrities and influencers.

The aim of the show is to educate busy millennials on easy but hearty recipes taught by celebrity foodies and chefs and it will air on Afro-Caribbean family entertainment channel ABN TV (Sky Channel 456) in the UK.

Oputa will feature in the first episodes of the show preparing delicious but quick meals.

Glam Africa is a quarterly print magazine distributed in the UK, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. Glam Africa Kitchen is among Glam Africa’s slate of shortform shows airing on ABN TV.

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NBC boss faces ICPC charges

Charges have been filed against the director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and three others by Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Is’haq Kawu Modibbo

Those charged include NBC chief Is’haq Kawu Modibbo as well as Dipo Onifade, Lucky Omonuwa and Pinnacle Communications. The charges relate to alleged irregularities in the award of a N2.5bn (US$6.9m) digital switchover (DSO) contract.

The suspects are to face trial on a 12-count charge before a federal high court in Abuja, although there is no date for their arraignment yet. The charges were filed by ICPC officials Henry Emore and Adenekan Shogunle on January 14.

According to the charges, Modibbo approved a payment of N2.5bn to Pinnacle, owned by Omonuwa, as seed grant under the DSO plan of the federal government of Nigeria, even though he was allegedly aware the company was not entitled to the grant.

This is an offence and is punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Act 2000.

However, Modibbo and Pinnacle deny the allegations levelled against them, stating that the ICPC has no knowledge of the entire process of the contract award.

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AFTV to start up in Nigeria

African Television (AFTV), a European TV channel about Africa founded in 2012 by pastor Larry Omodia, is set to start operations in Nigeria later this year.

Larry Omodia

The Netherlands-based TV station, which has already spread to African countries such as Uganda, Cameroon and South Africa, will next enter the Nigerian market, even though this has proved difficult compared with other countries, the company said.

Omodia, the company’s CEO, said: “Suffice it to say that God’s time is always the best and when God says the time is right for you to do something, that’s when you get it done and that’s why we’re finally coming into the Nigerian market now.”

Although Omodia is currently based in Europe, AFTV is represented in Nigeria by David Lucas, director of operations for AFTV Nigeria, and IfeChukwude Martyns-Etunum, technical director at AFTV Nigeria.

The TV station will begin broadcasting in Nigeria later in the year on one of the cable TV platforms.

Omodia says the channel is all about challenging negative images and perceptions of Africa.

“If we do not promote ourselves no one will do it for us. We owe it to our motherland to tell her true stories. Western media can only tell from one perspective,” said Omodia.

“We are here to showcase the entire beauty of this continent. Our job at AFTV is to penetrate the homes across the globe with beautiful African content.”

In Europe, AFTV operates a bouquet of channels including AFTV, AFCC (cooking), AFFC (fashion) and AFMC (movies), over IPTV via its own set-top box. It claims 4.8 million viewers in Europe and 25.6 million globally.

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