MultiChoice-owned pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv have re-organised their content offerings to help subscribers stay up to date with information regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Africanews will now be available on GOtv Max and Plus, while educational channels Da Vinci and Mindset and kids’ entertainment net Cartoon Network will be on DStv Access until the end of May to help engage young viewers.
Nickelodeon (Channel 305) has also been opened up to DStv Compact, Family and Access subscribers until April 14.
In addition, library sports content is being made more widely available. Select 4 will be opened to compact customers to re-live English Premier League football, while Select 5 will showcase past WWE content.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said: “We have been in constant communication with health authorities such as the World Health Organisation and we will be rolling out Africa-wide public service announcements on Covid-19. It is important that all of us take heed of the announcements and advice from trusted experts so that we can look after our own health and that of our loved ones.
“In light of the disruptions to the school year in some markets, we are also working to provide access to the best available educational content, to help keep young minds stimulated and engaged.”
MultiChoice has also moved to reassure its staff during the pandemic. “We are taking great care for our staff during this time and have encouraged those that are able to work from home to do so,” said Mawela.
“In light of this, we have advised our customers that there may be a delay in our ability to attend to customer queries. However, we have a number of self-service and online platforms available, and we will do our best to sort out any issues they may have, timeously.”
Pan-African news channel Africanews has been made available on MultiChoice’s DStv and GOtv in more than 40 countries across Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola.
Launched in 2016 from Pointe-Noire, Congo, the channel is a subsidiary of Euronews Groupnow. It now reaches 20 million homes across the continent, offering a range of programmes on culture, lifestyle, sport, business, travel and science and technology.
Euronews CEO Michael Peters said: “Amid the current Covid-19 crisis, Euronews and Africanews’ mission has never been so important: helping people access real-time, up-to-date information, empowering them to make sense of what’s going on in the world by presenting a diversity of viewpoints.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the MultiChoice group once again to offer their DStv and GOtv subscribers access to Africanews, after Euronews launched on DStv last November. Euronews and Africanews have always been recognised and valued for their fact-based impartial and independent newsgathering. In these times of uncertainty, millions of more people in Africa will now have access to these trusted sources of information.”
Yolisa Phahle, CEO MultiChoice Group Africa, added: “In these unprecedented times, the importance of having access to precise, reliable information becomes paramount for our customers and their families. We have increased access to news channels already, and the launch of Africanews confirms our commitment to doing all we can to provide the best possible service.”
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’s digital terrestrial platform GOtv is adding WarnerMedia channels Cartoon Network and TNT to its line-up.
From November 12, the channels will offer subscribers across English-speaking sub-Saharan Africa children’s entertainment as well as Hollywood blockbusters.
The titles will include Ben 10, Craig of the Creek, Teen Titans Go, The Amazing World of Gumball, an exclusive original production of Victor & Valentino and films such as Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, Spy Kids and Jumanji.
Guillaume Coffin, WarnerMedia’s VP commercial and head of business development for France and Africa, said: “We are thrilled to bring Cartoon Network and TNT to a wider African audience and to extend our partnership with MultiChoice through GOtv. The quality of our channels, combined with MultiChoice’s excellence in marketing, will contribute to bringing our premium quality American features and innovative kids’ content to an even wider audience on the African continent.
“We are convinced that our existing fans will be as excited about this new entertainment experience as we are, and we look forward to welcoming our new GOtv fans to join in on the fun just in time for the festive season.”
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at the MultiChoice Group, added: “As the home of African television, it’s always a win for us to be able to deliver on making great entertainment accessible to more customers with top family entertainment. This new partnership with WarnerMedia is an example of that.
“We look forward to continuing to deliver more choice and value to our customers as Africa’s most loved storyteller.”
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has launched a pop-up channel covering the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships on GOtv.
From now until October 8, GOtv Max subscribers can watch the 17th edition of the championships, which begin in Doha, Qatar, today.
World record-holding athletes such as Ethiopian duo Yomif Kejelcha and Genzebe Dibaba are among those competing, said GOtv, adding: “Subscribers can take advantage of the GOtv StepUp offer to upgrade or renew the GOtv Max package by paying a reduced fee of N2,600. The offer runs until 31st October, 2019.”
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.”
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 company MultiChoice has launched a mobile app that allows its customers of its digital terrestrial platform, GOtv, to make changes to their accounts.
MyGOtv is available as a free download via the iOS and Android app stores.
MultiChoice CEO John Ugbe said the app would enable customers to manage their accounts, including the ability to make payments, check balances, change packages and manage viewing preferences.
“The new app will form part of the numerous digital platforms that are innovative and functional to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of our valued customers,” Ugbe said.
“And with the start of season four of reality TV show Big Brother Naija, customers get 100 additional votes to keep their favourite housemate in the competition when they vote via the MyGOtv app.
“By enabling customers to independently manage their accounts, we expect to see a reduction in queries and queues at call centres, thereby freeing up our customer-facing staff to provide improved one-on-one support to those customers who require it. Our goal is to provide an accessible, affordable and efficient platform for self-service to improve overall customer experience when engaging with GOtv.”
Ugbe added that he functionality of the app would be continuously worked on and updated to adapt to technological advancements and improve the user experience.
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.
Pay TV operator GOtv has added nine channels to its Max and Plus packages for subscribers in Enugu and Aba.
The selection of top local Nigerian channels comprises Spice TV, MiTV, WAP TV, ITV Benin, BISCON, Liberty TV, Tiwan Tiwan, R2TV and Rave.
John Ugbe, CEO of GOtv parent MultiChoice Nigeria, said of the move: “This brings to six the number of cities that have in one month seen an increase in our local content offering. We are witnessing a growth in the number of local channels in Nigeria that showcase different genres of TV programming and we are ensuring that our GOtv customers are not left out of that experience.”
GOtv has also added more local channels for Max and Plus subscribers in Jos, Kaduna, Asaba and Onitsha.
Ugbe said the additions were evidence of the company’s commitment to giving more Nigerians access to quality local and international programming at an affordable price, while also supporting the federal government’s digital switchover process.
“We continue to invest in up-to-date technology which ensures that our business is at par with global standards while ensuring our customers keep getting the best services available,” he added.
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.”
MultiChoice Nigeria has been named Outstanding Sports Promoting Company of the Decade at the recently concluded 25th anniversary of the National Institute for Sports (NIS).
Digital terrestrial TV service GOtv emerged Outstanding Grassroots Sports Programme Television Station, while SuperSport won the Outstanding Sports Promoting Television Station of the Decade and the Outstanding Television Sports Programme of the Decade.
MultiChoice Nigeria chief customer officer Martin Mabutho emphasised that the awards recognised the efforts MultiChoice has put in place to deliver great content across all its platforms.
He said: “MultiChoice will continue to make great entertainment more accessible to Nigerians by delivering quality sports and local content to its customers.”
The award was presented by Olushade Adesola, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth & Sports. NIS was held at the Civic Center, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos last week.
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.
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.”
Nigerian media entrepreneur Yinka Obebe is behind plans for a new creative content hub in Lagos. He told Content Nigeria about the new venture.
Pophub Lagos is billed as the first physical space for content creators in Nigeria and is designed to provide the required facilities, studios and conducive environment for the country’s next generation of content creators.
Founded by creative and media entrepreneur Yinka Obebe, the Pophub Lagos brand will be developed and built across various development stages to become a pop culture content creators’ platform, according to the entrepreneur.
Obebe already has PopcentralTV, the television arm of his parent company Popcentral, but he intends Pophub Lagos to the experience and creators’ hub of Popcentral. Pophub is described as “a melting pot for creators. The best of creative minds all over the country converge here. Fitted with studios, lounges, workstations and a kitchen.”
Obebe tells Content Nigeria: “At Popcentral, we want young people to be able to express themselves through content. Pop culture has never been better defined than it is now in the age of social media, where everyone can put forward their culture and subculture in content. So we want to create a platform where that is possible across social, experiential and television.
“PopcentralTV is the TV channel and Pophub Lagos is the physical space designed to enable collaboration, creative expression and engagement. The essence of Popcentral is to curate culture through content, while Pophub Lagos provides the meeting point and enablement required to create content and connect with creatives and brands.
“Popcentral lives on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and every other social space where we can engage creators. We also just got a new apartment in the pay TV world of DSTV and GOTV.”
The Popcentral brand is set to launch TV channels on both those platforms, he continues, and the channels will curate content for entertainment, brand stories and messaging. The company is currently testing TV signals and Obebe says he’s looking forward to launching soon.
Pophub Lagos is calling for content creators to send a brief about their ideas to [email protected], after which a presentation will be scheduled.
Obebe adds: “We essentially want to co-create with creators. And as long as they are still thinking up new ideas then we are here; we keep listening to them and optimising the platforms and channels for them.
“We have studios and all the gear you need. We can, in fact, co-create with you even if you are outside Nigeria. We can receive your feed anytime and from anywhere in the world through your mobile phone.
“We have a number of purpose-built studios, a multi-set lounge studio for various shows, from news and talkshows to discussions. We also have a shop studio designed for our teleshopping show. We also have a kitchen studio, one of its kind, designed for interaction and competition and purpose-built. There are other spaces for co-creation, like the green pad, the creators lounge and the outdoor work station we have dubbed the Metal Forest.
“Popcentral is a multi-fold expression that lives in the social space, experience and television. I want creators to understand that it’s a space that helps them bring ideas to life – content and anything else you want to make.”
Obebe is a brand builder who founded media agency Redbox Africa in 2010, where he was CEO and creative director, working extensively with brands across telecommunication, banking, television and FMCGS to create communication, experience, identity, stories and commercials in Nigeria and across other African countries. He currently serves as CEO at Popcentral.
Nigerian pay TV platform GOtv is offering extra channels to its subscribers during an ‘open week’ to mark its seventh anniversary this month.
From 19 to 26 October, more than 65 channels from the premium GOtv Max bouquet will be available to GOtv Plus subscribers. They will have access to content such as Fox Entertainment, Sony Max, La Liga football on SS Select 4 and CBS reality.
John Ugbe, MD of GOtv parent MultiChoice Nigeria, said the need for GOtv to give subscribers more entertainment options led to the introduction of GOtv Max.
He said: “We are glad to celebrate this milestone with our customers, who have always been the core of our business. This celebration is indeed a testimony to our commitment to put our customers at the heart of everything we do. As we continue to grow, we will continue to make improvements and add more value to our GOtv customers”.
GOtv currently has four bouquets: GOtv MAX, GOtv Plus, GOtv Value and GOtv Lite.