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.
African pay TV provider MultiChoice has introduced a temporary comedy channel for its GOtv and DStv subscribers for the Easter period.
Launched yesterday, Naija Stand-Up Comedy will run to May 1 and is available to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family subscribers and GOtv Max subscribers.
The channel is showing 100% Nigerian content, comprising original productions, skits and coverage of ticketed stand-up shows. Programming includes Funny Bone Untamed and Comedy Nites with IK.
Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “This channel will guarantee rib-cracking jokes from some of Nigeria’s finest comedians. Viewers can look forward to being a part of some of the biggest ticketed shows in the country.”
African pay TV platform DStv is set to air controversial documentary Leaving Neverland, in which allegations of child abuse are made against the late pop star Michael Jackson.
Directed and produced by British filmmaker Dan Reed for Channel 4 in the UK and HBO in the US, this documentary will now be shown on African screens across the continent via MultiChoice-owned DStv.
The film exposes the experiences two adult men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, went through while they were kids and friends with Jackson. They make allegations of sustained abuse and reveal how they were affected by the relationship.
According to MultiChoice Nigeria’s chief customer office, Martin Mabutho: “Bringing Leaving Neverland to African screens is testament to the fact that DStv brings the most compelling content to the continent as quickly as possible.
“Please note, however, that documentary is not suitable for younger viewers as it contains strong language, discussions of self-harm and graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse.”
Leaving Neverland, which premiered in the US at the Sundance festival, will be aired on M-Net City and DStv channel 115.
Reality show Our Perfect Wedding, which began in 2011 in South Africa, has arrived in Nigeria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The number of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow to 45.63 million by 2024, according to the newly published Sub-Saharan Africa Pay TV Forecasts report.
This suggests Sub-Saharan Africa will add 16 million subscribers in the next six years, marking an increase of 61%. Pay TV revenues were forecast to reach US$7.72bn by 2024, up by US$2.3bn on 2018.
Three big operators – MultiChoice, Vivendi/Canal+ and StarTimes – dominate the Sub-Saharan Africa pay TV market, with a combined 93% market share.
At the end of 2018, pay TV operator MultiChoice had over 14.34 million subscribers on its DStv and GOtv platforms and this figure is estimated to increase by five million by 2024.
France’s Vivendi had 4.01 million subs to its Canal+ satellite TV platform and Easy TV by the end of 2018, which will climb to 6.21 million by 2024, said the report. StarTimes had 7.75 million pay TV subscribers by the end of 2018 and it is estimated to reach 14.85 million by 2024.
According to Simon Murray, principal analyst at the report’s publisher, Digital TV Research: “Subscriber numbers will climb by 61% over this period, but pay TV revenues will rise by only 42% – indicating lower ARPUs. Pay TV revenues will reach US$7.72bn by 2024, up by US$2.3bn on 2018.”
Pay TV operator DStv is marking its 25th anniversary by offering its DStv Explora package at a reduced rate.
Currently available at the special anniversary price of N29,900 per month, DStv Explora offers dramas, movies, cartoons, football and telenovelas. It also gives subscribers more flexibility and control, allowing them to pause and rewind live TV.
It comes with a full dish kit and one-month compact subscription.
In related news, DStv has brought back its Animania kids’ strand for the festive period, which sees it airing an animated movie every day.
Titles include Moana, Boss Baby, Despicable Me, Nut Job, Sing, Trolls, House of Magic, The Emoji Movie, Coco and Captain Underpants. They will air on M-Net Movies Smile, DStv channel 105.
Response Architects, a new multi-channel retailer that sells innovative products for everyday life, is to launch the first international TV shopping business in Nigeria.
Shopex TV is Nigeria’s first international tele-shopping platform and is positioned to give Nigerians direct access to leading products from the global market.
It has completed its first round of financing with investment from television shopping and broadcasting advisors Expert Media Partners (EMP) based in London and is the exclusive distributor in Africa.
With television as its main channel to market, this platform is offering Nigerians a range of products they can buy at prices they can afford. The launch will kick-start with a TV campaign featuring an infomercial on December 1 to showcase one of its leading products, the Copper Chef pan.
This TV campaign will run in partnership with DStv, EbonyLife TV, TVC and Silverbird TV. Viewers will be able to place their orders for the product by calling dedicated numbers and will receive their order the next day.
Shopex TV was founded by Isi Abebe, MD of Response Architects Marketing, who worked as head of media planning and strategy in one of the biggest TV shopping companies in the UK.
“We’re excited about this project, having observed Nigeria’s logistics and payment platforms mature over the years. We’re confident that we can make it work and we have a line-up of great products and offers from across the globe that we believe will appeal to the Nigerian market,” said Abebe.
Ed Hall, managing partner at EMP, said: “We have worked on complex broadcast projects in Nigeria since 2003, and we have developed plans for television shopping in East and West Africa in the past. We are delighted that with Isi and Shopex we saw for the first time an experienced and credible management team, and we are very happy to be early-stage investors in this business.”