Tag Archives: MultiChoice

DStv adds news network

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.

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Discovery’s Real Time joins DStv, GOtv

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.

Amanda Turnbull

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.

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MultiChoice unveils GOtv mobile app

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.

John Ugbe

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.

 

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MultiChoice begins retrenchment process

Pay TV operator MultiChoice has held its first meeting regarding its decision to lay off almost 2, 200 employees.

The cuts will affect those working in the company’s call and walk-in centres. They come as part of a strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model, after customer feedback indicated that MultiChoice subscribers prefer using digital platforms to telephone or walk-in services.

Stakeholders attending the meeting included  representatives from the Communication Workers Union, the Media Workers Association of SA and the Information Communication Technology Union, as well MultiChoice’s own Work Place Forum.

MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs Joe Heshu said: “We respect the spirit that prevailed in the meeting, which was one of open conversations and candour. As a responsible employer, we are empathetic to the plight of the employees who are being consulted as part of the proposed restructuring process.

“We are encouraged that the relevant labour unions share the same views around ensuring the well-being of our employees as we consult on a very difficult process.”

In an effort to exercise due diligence in ensuring it remains compliant with the letter and the spirit of the Labour Relations Act and in agreement with unions and employee representatives, the company has agreed to offer voluntary severance packages and other benefits to affected staff.

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BBNaija Pepper Dem kicks off

The fourth season of hit Nigerian reality show Big Brother Naija, with the suffix Pepper Dem, is underway.

Extended for an extra week, the show’s fourth run has begun with 21 housemates living together in a mansion.

John Ugbe, CEO of broadcaster MultiChoice, which is behind the show, said: “We’re proud of the work everyone has delivered to bring this show to viewers’ television screens and devices.

“Our customers are in for a treat and this season is going to be even bigger and hotter and, more importantly, it’s taking place right here in Nigeria.”

Big Brother Naija season is available via all DStv packages on channel 198 and on GOtv Max and Plus on channel 29.

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Total BBNaija prizes upped to N60m

Reality TV show Big Brother Naija, which starts its fourth season on June 30, has revealed the winner of this year’s show will receive a N30m cash prize and a total prize worth N60m.

This is an increase on last year’s show when winner Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwetook home N45m worth of prizes.

John Ugbe, CEO of the show’s broadcaster, MultiChoice, said: “Each edition of Big Brother Naija significantly improves on all aspects of the previous season and this year is no different.

“The winner of season four will walk away from the house with a N30m cash prize and a top-of-the-range SUV, amongst many other exciting prizes.

“The Big Brother Naija winner will also emerge as the most popular and marketable personality on the continent, as the show is known to launch prominent careers in arts, entertainment and other supporting industries.”

In addition, the winner will win a trip to Dubai, a home makeover, a year’s supply of Pepsi and One Africa Fest VIP experience, a year’s supply of Indomie noodles and Munch it, a new Oppo smartphone and also a bonus prize of two VIP tickets to a European football final, courtesy of BET9ja

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MultiChoice ups TV, film production

Showmax and DStv owner MultiChoice is planning to produce 52 local movies and 29 dramas in the next year.

The news was announced alongside the publishing of the South Africa-based pay TV firm’s latest financial results, which revealed it had made a profit of seven billion South African rand from revenue of 50.1 billion rand.

The company has pledged to increase its spend on local general entertainment by 40% in 2022 compared to this year’s outlay.

MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said: “Our growth is exceptionally pleasing, especially in the current economic climate, and a clear indication that our strategy is working.”

In an effort to differentiate itself from Netflix, the company is also planning to offer more sports content on Showmax.

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MultiChoice adds Discovery’s HGTV to DStv

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.

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GOtv adds channels in Enugu, Aba

Pay TV operator GOtv has added nine channels to its Max and Plus packages for subscribers in Enugu and Aba.

John Ugbe

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.

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MultiChoice adds temporary stand-up channel

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.”

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DStv brings Michael Jackson doc to Africa

Leaving Neverland focuses on Michael Jackson’s relationship with two men when they were children

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.

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MultiChoice unveils Talent Factory portal

MultiChoice has launched a web portal for its Talent Factory, a pan-African networking platform that brings together talent to access opportunities and connect with like minds.

Cheryl Uys-Allie

Following the launch of the MTF Academies and MTF Masterclasses, the new portal is an attempt to ignite Africa’s creative industries by seeking all film and TV creatives to be part of this new network.

The portal is a film and television digital marketplace that reveals the hidden talents of directors, cinematographers, scriptwriters, editors, actors, sound specialists and producers.

“With increasing cross-continental coverage, filmmakers are looking for networks beyond their own borders,” said Cheryl Uys-Allie, director of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).

“As a producer in Nigeria, it is exciting to know it is possible to coproduce in Angola, for example, with access to local talent and production partners. The portal is made for mobile and is therefore accessible to any filmmaker anywhere in the world.”

MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs Joe Heshu said: “As Africa’s leading storyteller, we play a significant role in bringing the local television and film production industry to life across the continent and the portal is an important extension of our commitment to igniting Africa’s creative industries to find each other and continue making great content.”

The MTF is a shared-value initiative that provides a platform for the creative industries to connect, find one another, stay in touch and make films. For more details, click here

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BBNaija plans housemate reunion

Big Brother Naija 2018 housemates

Reality TV show Big Brother Naija is set to hold a reunion for the housemates who participated in the 2018 edition, tagged Double Wahala.

Pay TV company MultiChoice made the announcement after the launch of its dedicated pop-up channel recently.

The 2018 housemates are Nina, Teddy, Vandora, K Brule, Alex, D One, Princess, Miracle, Ahneeka, Bam Bam, Rico Swavey, Chloe, Angel, Bitto, Ifu Ennada, Leo, Tobi, Lolu, Cee-C and Anto.

Rumours have suggested the winner of the 2018 show, Miracle Ikechukwu, may not be able to attend.

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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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Date set for MultiChoice JSE listing

Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world, will list it’s pay TV unit MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on February 27.

Bob van Dijk

The company includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa and Showmax. Naspers originally announced its intention to list last September.

The move means Naspers shareholders will now hold a direct interest in MultiChoice rather than through Africa’s most valuable company.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top-40-JSE-listed African entertainment company.

“With strong financials, the flexibility of an ungeared balance sheet and deep local knowledge, we hope to deliver excellent returns to shareholders over time,” added group CEO Calvo Mawela.

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MultiChoice rules out PPV system

Pay TV company MultiChoice has ruled out offering a pay-as-you-view system in Nigeria despite consumer demand for the option.

Martin Mabutho

Martin Mabutho, the company’s chief customer officer, said in an interview held in Lagos: “We are not going to introduce a pay-as-you-view system. Our contract with our suppliers is on a month-to-month basis.

“The channels do not belong to MultiChoice. What we do is slash our prices in half to make our customers enjoy our services.”

Mabutho added that MultiChoice would continue giving its customers incentives like loyalty and acquisition promotions every quarter since they pay monthly for the company’s services regardless of whether they watch the channels.

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BBNaija moves to Nigeria

The forthcoming fourth season of African reality show Big Brother Naija will take place in Nigeria.

The news was revealed by John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, the company behind the programme, at a media briefing.

Auditions for this year’s instalment of the show will take place in eight locations across Nigeria on February 1 and 2: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, Ibadan, Benin and Enugu.

Ugbe said: “This fourth season promises to be even bigger than previous editions and underscores MultiChoice’s position as the biggest investor and driver of entertainment content on the continent.

“The show is known to bring excitement and entertainment to fans and viewers across the continent. It will house strangers over a period of three months who will contest against each other in a battle of wits for the ultimate prize.”

Since debuting in 2006, the show – the African version of the globally successful Big Brother format – has launched the careers of celebrities and influencers such as Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Gideon Okeke, Katung Aduwak, Bisola Aiyeola, Efe Ejeba and Uriel Oputa.

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African pay TV subs set to hit 46m

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.”

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MultiChoice calls for Netflix rules

Africa’s largest pay TV operator MultiChoice has called for regulations to be imposed on Netflix as it blames the US-based streaming service for the subscriber losses it has suffered since 2017.

As a result of Netflix’s popularity among African viewers, pay TV companies MultiChoice and StarTimes are experiencing serious challenges to their business models and revenue streams.

In a recent report by Quartz Africa, Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, said his company had lost over 140,000 subscribers to Netflix, including 100,000 in the past financial year. The streaming service, he said, is also free from any affirmative action regulations, which gives the US firm a major advantage.

Even though pay TV companies are already competing with local streaming platforms like Iroko, Netflix’s plan to focus more on Nollywood and African content is set to create another area of competition for these companies in 2019.

Calvo Mawela

Netflix’s VP of international originals Erik Barmack told C21Media’s Content London conference in November that the streamer’s European team is “in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa. It’s definitely the case that we’ll commission some series there in 2019.”

In an article by Business Insider magazine, Netflix said: “The company is following Nollywood closely and focusing more on content. There are no plans to have a physical office in Nigeria. We are following the local industry closely and focusing more on content rather than physical presence.”

While pay TV companies work on having better streaming services and pricey data plans, Netflix has deployed a dedicated server in Nigeria in partnership with Spectranet in order to have a secure connection for its Nigerian audiences and also provide customers in Nigeria with a better video-streaming performance.

Despite the fact Nigerian movies such as Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart, Kunle Afolayan’s October 1st and Biyi Bandele’s Fifty are available on Netflix, thus creating competition in the Nigerian market, all hope is not lost for MultiChoice. The South African company still has three of its indigenous African Magic stations on DSTV, namely Africa Magic Yoruba, Africa Magic Hausa and Africa Magic Igbo.

Although the competition would impact viewers across Nigeria, perhaps leading to possible lower subscription fees for streaming and TV content packages, it will now be a fight between four major contenders: MultiChoice, StarTimes, Iroko and Netflix.

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MultiChoice scores FA Cup live rights

African pay TV company MultiChoice has acquired the broadcast rights to the 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup, the knock-out tournament organised by the Football Association of England.

Hennie Visser

MultiChoice customers will be able to watch tournament from its third round this weekend, as well as games from other football competitions such as the English Premier League, the European Champions League and Italy’s La Liga.

MultiChoice Africa CEO Hennie Visser said: “Our aim is to deliver a front-row view of the best football titles in the world for our valued DStv and GOTV customers. So from January 4, they will be able to enjoy the Emirates FA Cup live on SuperSport.

“This is part of our continuous efforts to put our customers at the heart of everything we do by making sure we deliver a quality service and the world’s best video entertainment at great value to our customers.”

FA Cup games will air on SuperSport on both GOtv and DStv.

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