African sports broadcaster SuperSport and WWE have extended their partnership to include a dedicated WWE channel on DStv offering a live weekly broadcast in more than 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new 24/7 channel will launch on January 1, 2020 and will feature shows including Raw, SmackDown, NXT and premium WWE programming such as 205 Live, Ride Along, WWE Chronicle and Table for 3.
Gideon Khobane, chief executive of SuperSport, said: “The fans of the WWE universe asked for it and we are delighted to deliver. WWE programming has proven to be compelling content with riveting storylines and insane action, which our viewers absolutely love. This is a big step and a great start to the new year.”
Stefan Kastenmüller, WWE’s senior VP and group general manager, EMEA, added: “SuperSport is a valued partner who shares our approach to engaging and entertaining our fans. We are thrilled to expand our partnership with a new 24/7 WWE channel which will super-serve our passionate fans in the region.”
Pay TV company MultiChoice Group has introduced five new bouquet packages on its DStv and GOtv platforms to help strengthen its family offering In preparation for the festive season.
The new bouquets include DStv Confam, which has over 120 channels, DStv Yanga (94 channels), DStv Padi (51 channels), GOtv Jolli (68 channels) and GOtv Jinja (47 channels).
Starting from December 1, customers will have the option to choose from any of the bouquet packages that have been exclusively and specially curated for the Nigerian market.
John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “The introduction of the new packages is highly customised for Nigerians to unlock new levels of entertainment and value.
“We are constantly driven to ensure that customers are satisfied with the overall quality of our services. The new packages are exclusively curated from Naija and for Nigerians, driven by great programming and affordable prices. With improved package options available to our valued customers, they can choose a subscription plan that best fits their needs and budget.”
Pay TV service provider MultiChoice Nigeria has devised a brand campaign for its customers on the DStv and GOtv platforms to enable them to enjoy more curated contents this festive season.
The campaigns are themed Happier with DStv and Make Time for Family with Gotv. Customers will be able to watch Nigeria festivals such as AFRIMA 2019, Unusual Praise, The Experience, Calabar Carnival, Akwa Ibom Christmas Concert, Miss Africa and Greater Lagos on both DStv 198 & GOtv 29.
Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “We continue to put our customers at the heart of everything we do. That’s why customers on DStv and GOtv will experience specially curated content, surprise pop-up channels and other top-notch value-added services.
“DStv and GOtv customers will be spoilt for choice with the hottest content and a happier holiday season. Customers can also look forward to Africa’s premier boxing Fiesta, GOtv Boxing Night, which is coming up on December 28 on SuperSport. Also, all Premier League, El Classico and more live sports with expert commentary and analysis on SuperSport this festive.
“In addition, much-loved kids’ pop up channel Animania opens on December 4 and will be the perfect companion for DStv kids this season, with the best animated movies all day and every day. Animania is exclusive to M-Net Smile (channel 105) on DStv Premium.”
MultiChoice-owned pay TV operator DStv has added three factual channels to its line-up.
The new networks are CBS Justice, which will replace A+E Networks UK’s Crime + Investigation channel; factual entertainment net CuriosityStream, which was launched by Discovery founder John Hendricks; and Euronews, which returns to the platform it left a few years ago.
MultiChoice general entertainment CEO Yolisa Phahle said: “We’re thrilled to finally announce the launch of these channels that will expand the line-up of new programming for our DStv customers to enjoy.
“CuriosityStream will give our viewers informative entertainment that the family can enjoy together, and it’s with great pride that we are able to launch CBS Justice, a new true crime channel which is part of the CBS AMC Networks EMEA portfolio of channels. We’re also delighted to expand our viewers’ choice of news and actuality programming with Euronews.”
CuriosityStream will feature factual programming including original and exclusive films and series, with titles ranging from Deep Time History and The History of Food to Age of Big Cats and Breakthrough.
CBS Justice will feature a curated selection of original and acquired programming, including original productions The Real Prime Suspect, Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files, Secrets of a Psychopath and Evidence of Evil; plus acquisitions Cold Justice, Fame Kills and Stalker.
Clint Stinchcomb, president and CEO of CuriosityStream, said: “CuriosityStream is thrilled to premiere on DStv, collaborating with MultiChoice as our inaugural bundled distribution partner in Africa. Viewers are hungry for high-quality, engaging and entertaining factual shows, and CuriosityStream is proud to offer our channel to this important media market.”
Louise Cottrell, senior VP, affiliate partnerships for AMC Networks International UK, added: “This new launch highlights the growing demand for true crime content in the region, and we are thrilled to offer MultiChoice’s DStv customers exclusive access to authentic documentaries and series for the first time on CBS Justice.”
Carolyn Gibson, chief revenue officer at Euronews, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with DStv to reach even more households on the African continent.”
MultiChoice Group’s pay TV operator DStv has announced it will no longer remove two A+E Networks EMEA channels from its platform.
The History and Lifetime channels will remain but Crime + Investigation has been cut off.
MultiChoice CEO Mark Rayner revealed the group has signed a new multi-year contract. “We’ve reached an agreement with A+E Networks for terms that we think are acceptable to our DStv subscribers for both History and Lifetime, but Crime + Investigation is still ending,” he said.
“Two further channels from another provider will be announced before the middle of November as a replacement for Crime + Investigation, as well as another factual documentary channel. We’re just finalising technical launch plans so that we can be clear on a launch date.”
Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment, added: “We are excited to have reached this agreement as it allows us to ensure we meet our commitment to get the best programming for our customers, based on commercial terms that make sense and provide a value for money offering to customers. We are pleased that Lifetime will also now be available to our Compact package customers.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience and feedback and have their best interests in mind as we continue to work hard to improve our entertainment offering.”
“We are pleased to have agreed a long-term renewal of our flagship brands, History and Lifetime, in Africa with our partner DStv. As part of this renewal, the new distribution of Lifetime in Compact presents an exciting opportunity to reach millions of new viewers with our unique programming offering”, said Dean Possenniskie, MD of A+E Networks EMEA.
MultiChoice Group’s pay TV platform DStv is set to lose three channels after carriage renewal talks with network operator A+E Networks broke down.
DStv subscribers in South Africa and across the continent will no longer have access to History, Crime+Investigation and Lifetime channels after the carriage contract was not renewed.
The channels carry programmes including Surviving R Kelly, Forged in Fire, American Pickers, Curse of Oak Island, Damien Lewis Spy Wars, The First 48, Homicide Hunter, Married at First Sight, Little Women, Lost Gold of World War 2, Watergate, Treasures Decoded, Crime Stories SA, Don’t Tell the Bride SA and Loved Like Crazy.
The agreement was last renewed in mid-2016 but this time the two companies have failed to negotiate a new deal over the channels, which have aired for 16, 11 and five years respectively.
In a statement, DStv said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to refresh our content line-up and optimise the suite of channels on offer, MultiChoice Group will be saying goodbye to the History, Crime+Investigation and Lifetime channels on its DStv platform at the end of the current contract term.
“The current contract expires on November 1. Viewers will, however, be able to continue enjoying some favourites such as the Housewives franchise, which is already available on 1 Magic.”
Meanwhile, MultiChoice has announced the introduction of two new channels that will show programmes similar to those that aired on the three networks that it will lose.
“We will soon be announcing the introduction of two new channels to DStv. The first is an established global brand and the other a new innovative brand. Both channels will bring exciting new titles and genres that viewers will enjoy, including others blue-chip documentaries, history and factual reality shows. In addition, we continue to increase our significant investment in local shows and content, which have great resonance with customers and are a key driver of engagement,” the statement adds.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice Group has informed its subscribers it will discontinue the DStv Select service from October 29 and will migrate them to the DStv Family package.
In a statement it said: “DStv is continuously reviewing its content line-up, packaging structure and pricing to ensure that customers have access to the best fresh content at great value. As a result, we will be discontinuing some packages and re-directing customers to the main packages where the same programmes and channels can be found.”
The company stopped selling DStv Select packages in April 2013 and replaced it with DStv Family, while existing subscribers who chose to stay with the package because it included access to Afrikaans channel KykNET were allowed to continue using it as long as they were not inactive for more than three months.
“Your favourite channels are, however, still available on our various other packages,” the company said.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice Africa is set to reduce its DStv subscription fees across East Africa.
The monthly fees paid by DStv subscribers in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania will fall from September 1.
According to a MultiChoice representative, the reduction in fees will differ between countries due to the different cost structures, which are influenced by local factors such as content costs, inflation, local taxes, foreign exchange rates and overheads.
MultiChoice Kenya said in a statement: “The subscription price reductions are aimed at making entertaining TV viewing accessible to more subscribers in Kenya and grant more customers access to the entire world of exciting channels at a lower fee.”
The broadcaster has not yet revealed if it will be reducing subs in other parts of Africa.
MultiChoice’s Supersport channel has acquired the rights to broadcast live games from the Sky Bet Championship and Carabao Cup during the 2019/20 football season.
The Sky Bet Championship, which is second highest division in English soccer after the Premier League, will be broadcast on all DStv packages and available to GOtv Max and GOtv Plus customers.
The teams featuring in the league’s 2019/20 season include Leeds United, Derby County, Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.
The Carabao Cup is an annual knockout competition and includes all 92 clubs within the top four levels of English football. Fixtures for round two of the competition take place on August 27 and 28 and comprise Queens Park Rangers versus Portsmouth, Fulham versus Southampton and Nottingham Forest versus Derby County.
MultiChoice-owned pay TV operator DStv has appointed marketing and sponsorship firm Playmakers as its lead sponsorship and activations agency.
The company was selected after a pitch from the Playmakers team convinced DStv it would be the best partner.
Playmakers Group MD Matt Ellenbogen said: “Winning the DStv account is an important win for Playmakers. DStv is the leading broadcaster on the African continent, with an incredible bouquet of content and world-class in-house production capabilities. DStv has very exciting ambitions to grow their business and we look forward to partnering with them to help them achieve these goals.
“A large portion of sponsorship value is driven through broadcast and content. This is a space that is changing rapidly at the moment. We believe our new partnership with DStv will also keep us closer to what is developing in the broadcast and content space.”
MultiChoice chief customer officer Simon Camerer added: “We’re excited to have Playmakers as one of our core agencies that will propel our business objectives through our various valued sponsorship and partnership properties. The Playmakers team delivered a pitch presentation that showcased thought leadership, a strong understanding of our business challenges and global trends shaping broadcasters today. We look forward to working with the award-winning agency and wish them all the best.”
With a team of more than 60 specialists from across the marketing sphere, Playmakers aims to lead from the front in developing thinking that challenges convention and solves clients’ business challenges, according to the company.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has rolled out a pop-up channel offering WWE content on its DStv platform.
Available now, the channel will give subscribers to DStv’s Compact, Premium and Compact Plus packages access to US wrestling giant WWE shows like SmackDown Live, Raw, WrestleMania and SummerSlam until the end of the year. DStv Access and Family subscribers have access until August 21.
With the WWE brand facing new competition from All Elite Wrestling in the US, it is on the lookout for markets in Africa to not only grow revenue but also acquire fans and a new audience for its content.
Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport, which is behind the pop-up, said: “WWE has proved to be an excellent acquisition for viewers all across the continent. The new pop-up channel is a natural evolution that shows the growth and excitement around the SuperSport broadcasts of WWE.”
SuperSport acquired the WWE licensing rights from e.tv in 2017.
MultiChoice pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv have revealed details of their coverage of the 2019/20 football season.
The coverage kicks off at 15.00 this Sunday with the English Community Shield match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, which will air live and in HD on SuperSport’s SS3 and SS10 (DStv) and Select 2 (GOtv).
Nigerian football fans will see the best of teams, players and managers as MultiChoice provides football coverage across all DStv packages as well as its GOtv Max and GOtv Plus bouquets. DStv Access and GOtv Plus customers will have access to more than 220 live games this season, with two games each from England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A every week.
MultiChoice Nigeria CEO Martin Mabutho said: “DStv and GOtv viewers will once again be the recipients of our incredible football coverage as we continue to deliver world-class action to fans wherever they watch, whether on television or on digital platforms.
“Our comprehensive football coverage includes the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League – and that’s not even including all the thrills and spills from the Africa Cup of Nations, which just ended in Egypt.”
Pay TV operator MultiChoice Africa has introduced a new channel on its DStv platform across the continent.
Newzroom Afrika, a 24-hour news network, is now available to subscribers to DStv’s Access, Family, Compact, Compact Plus and Premium package.
The channel covers content ranging from breaking news to in-depth analysis, business, sports, expert panel discussions and unique insights into the African continent.
Newzroom Afrika co-founder and co-CEO Thabile Ngwato said: “We believe viewers are hungry for a different perspective that is fully independent and puts their interests first. We made sure, in designing our editorial structure and choosing the members of our editorial board, to hardwire the highest levels of rigour and independence into our newsroom.
“We are excited to be broadcasting into the rest of Africa, as this has been the plan from the very beginning.”
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, added: “We are proud to bring this news channel to more of our DStv customers across the continent. The addition of Newzroom Afrika will increase the diversity of voices and perspectives in Africa’s news media spaces.”
Newzroom Afrika claims to have unmatched remote broadcasting capabilities, cutting-edge systems and technology that allows for high-definition broadcast and enables journalists roam wherever the news takes them. It can be found on DStv channel 405.
ROK founder Mary Njoku and Canal+ International CEO Jacques du Puy tell Content Nigeria about this week’s deal bringing ROK under the wing of the French group.
The recent acquisition of major African film studio and international TV network ROK by French audiovisual firm Canal+ Group is a move that is geared towards strengthening the latter’s content production reach across Africa.
The deal sees Nollywood broadcaster and production studio ROK change hands for an undisclosed sum while ROK’s former owner, SVoD company Iroko Partners, takes full ownership of Francophone African SVoD platform Iroko+, which was previously a joint venture with Canal+.
Content Nigeria caught up with ROK founder Mary Njoku and Jacques du Puy, CEO of Canal+ International, to learned about the motives behind this new partnership.
Elated about the acquisition, du Puy says: “We are happy to welcome Mary Remy Njoku in the Canal+ family. We are glad to expand our activities in Africa to content production. We are proud to strengthen our channel portfolio with the popular and successful ROK channels, that will sit alongside their French sisters, Nollywood TV and Nollywood Epic.”
“I am delighted and proud,” adds Njoku, who is married to Iroko founder and CEO Jason Njoku. “The acquisition of ROK by Canal+ is a great milestone for our business and Nollywood as a whole. We are taking Nollywood to new audiences and that has always been the goal, to take our authentic African stories and share them with the world.”
Du Puy notes that the creation of Nollywood TV began some time ago. “We created Nollywood TV in 2013 after the acquisition of a Nollywood movie package from Africa Magic, part of the MultiChoice Group.
“This content immediately proved to be one of the most relevant in French-speaking Africa, and we had to partner with Iroko to ensure a regular and high-quality supply to Nollywood TV. We also sporadically bought Nollywood series from other producers in Nigeria and recently acquired a small package of premium movies to offer Canal+ subscribers in Africa a Nollywood festival on our premium channel this August.
“We have been acquiring content from Iroko ever since 2013 to feed Nollywood TV. Mary and Jason are not only partners but they are also friends now. We then invested in Iroko in 2015, becoming one of the main shareholders. There is already a long history between Canal+ and Iroko. And ROK Studios is just the largest and more successful producer and aggregator in Nigeria and Ghana,” he adds.
With this week’s deal a landmark accomplishment for the four-year-old start-up, Mary Njoku elaborates on what has propelled the success of the studio so far.
“The fans and lovers of Nollywood across the world motivate us to constantly create quality content. Nollywood fans have a voracious appetite for new content; this is why so many Nollywood films are produced each year.
“However, it is a difficult balance to maintain and develop quality at scale. I had always felt that there was a need for a studio that empowered young people to put their skills to work and create the content that we now see on our ROK, ROK2 and ROK3 channels in Africa and the UK. Now, with the fact we are working even closer with Canal+, we can take this content into French-speaking Africa and eventually the rest of the world.
“Our teams across Accra, Lagos and London cannot be left out of our success story as we all work hand in hand to make ROK story a success,” she adds.
According to both du Puy and Njoku, the deal includes the production studio as well as the four ROK-branded, English-language channels that currently air on African pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv and in the UK on Sky. Canal+ channel distribution subsidiary Thema will oversee the distribution of these channels, adding to its own Nollywood TV and Nollywood Epic channels.
Continuing her leadership role as the director general of ROK Productions, Njoku believes the content that will now be produced will be of higher quality. “With this partnership, we now have the resources to create higher-budget movies,” she says. “Our budgets are typically fairly modest, so get ready to see different types of content across all ROK platforms, including animated content – content that will cut across English- and French-speaking Africa.
“ROK will receive more resources to create content without the loss of our creative freedom. It was very important for us to retain creative rights as this is the main reason for ROK’s success today. We will develop Nollywood in French-speaking Africa and globally through Canal+’s Africa and global channels. Surely this will open more doors to other untapped parts of Africa that need to be reached. However, essentially, it will be more of the same, just at an even faster pace.”
Du Puy thinks the quality of Nollywood movies out there can be enhanced. “Talent is there and Nollywood movies are already very popular,” he says. “But it is true that the audience is more and more demanding, so the quality will progressively enhance because ROK has the unique capacity to detect, select and grow the best and newest talents in Nigeria or Ghana. In addition, we are planning to invest in technical equipment that could be lent to our associated producers.”
Both executives are preparing head-on for any challenges that may arise from this partnership. According to Njoku: “With every partnership comes challenges. However, we hope to resolve all issues amicably and as quickly as possible. We’ve been working alongside Canal+ for nearly five years now so we know how the other works, where our strengths lie, and how to get the best out of one another.”
“We first need to consolidate the leadership position of ROK Studios and go on growing the audience of the ROK channels. Then we would love to explore African kids content, which is very rare at the moment in Africa, and try to bring the Nollywood expertise to French-speaking Africa and to grow the production of daily series there,” du Puy adds.
Strengthening its position as content provider and giving it access to the entire Nollywood value chain, the deal will see Thema working with ROK as well as engage in the distribution of third-party Nollywood content to digital operators across the world; produce and distribute four channels under the ROK brand broadcasted in English-speaking Africa and the UK.
Looking forward to serving fans with more content across all platforms, Njoku says: “ROK will produce thousands of more hours of Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for Canal+ Group’s audiences in French-speaking Africa. As part of the acquisition, Canal+ Group will continue to collaborate with Iroko, with non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via the Iroko SVoD app.”
The deal, as well as moves by SVoD giants like Netflix to commission more African content for its platform, shows it’s not just African countries that are enjoying Nollywood films and TV series.
Pay TV company MultiChoice has added Discovery’s entertainment channel Real Time to its DStv and Gotv services to be aired all over the continent.
Rolling out today, Real Time features programmes that depict real-life stories, crime, medicine and nature.
According to Amanda Turnbull, VP and general manager for Discovery in Africa and the Middle East, Discovery will be offering world-class content to more African viewers including a personalised channel targeted at the modern African woman and her family.
She said: “Discovery is incredibly excited to present Real Time to a broader audience in the market and to further diversify and expand the brand’s local portfolio offering.”
Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, said: “MultiChoice is excited to welcome the new channel which will give viewers access to a wide variety of entertaining television shows from Discovery.”
Real Time was recently added to DStv for its subscribers in South Africa, to the Chinese StarTimes in Africa and also to the StarTimes StarSat brand in South Africa.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has won four awards at the Brands and Advertising Awards of Excellence held in Lagos.
The annual ceremony, organised by Marketing Edge and themed ‘Story telling as a new paradigm shift in contemporary brand building: Convergence of creativity and technology,’ was aimed at celebrating the most innovative minds in the integrated marketing communications industry.
The company won the Outstanding Entertainment Services Provider of the Decade award, while its DStv and GOtv brands received the Outstanding Pay-TV Brand of the Decade and Innovative Digital Terrestrial Television Brand of the Year awards respectively.
Martin Mabutho, MultiChoice Nigeria’s chief customer officer, also received the Outstanding Brand Personality of the Year award.
John Ajayi, CEO of Marketing Edge, said: “Our resolve to recognise and reward our deserving awardees, peers and gladiators – some of them personalities and institutions that have contributed tremendously to the nation – is a result of, and in sync with, our raison d’être, which is promoting the brand idea.”
MultiChoice-owned pay TV channels DStv and GOtv will broadcast the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) live when it is held in Egypt this summer.
The 52 matches of the 32nd edition of the tournament, held between June 21 and July 19, will be offered live on GOtv and in HD on DStv.
The competition will be held at six venues: Cairo International Stadium; 30 June Stadium, Cairo; Al Salaam Stadium, Cairo; Alexandria Stadium; Suez Stadium; and Ismailia Stadium.
The event will feature a 24-team format for the first time and the SuperSport broadcast will feature expert opinion and insight from top commentators and veterans.
Martin Mabutho, MultiChoice Nigeria’s chief customer officer, said: “We are thrilled to continue to cater to our customers’ football appetites with one of the most anticipated football tournaments of the year, and what makes it even more exciting this time around is that most of the countries we operate in are represented in AFCON 2019.”
The tournament will kick off with a match between Egypt and Zimbabwe at Cairo International Stadium.
MultiChoice is adding US network HGTV channel to its pay TV service, DStv, via a deal with media giant Discovery.
HGTV offers programmes about gardening, real estate and home improvement.
In 2017, MultiChoice experimented with a three-week trial run of HGTV on DStv’s Travel channel, which was well received by subscribers.
At present, HGTV is available in the US, Asia, Canada, Australia, with a South African roll-out due on July 15.
Henry Windridge, head of brand for Africa and the Middle East at Discovery, said: “Discovery is thrilled that MultiChoice has decided to add HGTV to its DStv platform. Viewers will find that there is a lot more to HGTV than just shows about decorating. Discovery is excited about the content HGTV will be offering on DStv.”
Launches of HGTV in other African countries have not yet been revealed.