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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Pay TV company MultiChoice has ruled out offering a pay-as-you-view system in Nigeria despite consumer demand for the option.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The winners of the eighth edition of the DSTV Eutelsat Star Awards essay and poster competition have been revealed.
The essay category was won by Tirzah Ikiri of Zamani College, Kaduna, while the poster award was won by Prosper Okarike of Graceland International College, Port-Harcourt.
The runner-up in the essay category was Micheal Okwutu of The Heavenly College, Lagos, while Wandoo Ayabam of Hill Crest School, Jos, was runner-up for the poster.
The Nigerian winners can now compete to be crowned Africa’s best in both categories. The competition was open to students between ages 14 and 19 and over 70 entries were received.
John Ugbe, CEO of pay TV group MultiChoice, said: “The award is meant to inspire innovative thinking among secondary-school students in Africa, to create awareness of how science and technology can be applied to everyday life and to showcase the many ways that satellites already impact the development of the African continent.”
This competition was organised by Naspers-owned MultiChoice in partnership with European satellite operator Eutelsat.
Nigerian subscribers to pay TV operator DStv have expressed their dissatisfaction with the services offered by parent company MultiChoice and are calling for a change in the law.
They are asking the federal government to force the Naspers-owned South African company to introduce a pay-as-you-view billing system.
This, they say, would ensure they get better value for their subscriptions, as they currently pay for services they do not receive.
Nigerian businessman Uzochukwu Nwafor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): “They need to put a regulation in place to help subscribers enjoy the money they paid to view the programmes.
“With that [pay-as-you-view] billing, we can save some money. I see subscribing to DStv programmes as a waste of money; it does not happen abroad or even in South Africa.”
Civil servant Silvanus Okonkwo also told NAN: “Many companies come to Nigeria and rip us off because our policies are not being implemented. Again, DStv does not have serious competitors and that is why the company is behaving as it pleases.
“The pay-as-you-go billing that telecommunications operators offer is supposed to be applicable to DStv,” he continued, adding that the National Assembly should concentrate on the number of subscribers available so that bouquet prices can be reduced.
Another DStv subscriber, Ishmael Lawal, said the decoder was not working properly as he usually receives poor signals. He said: “The company cuts off subscriptions two days before expiration without warning. Again, they keep repeating programmes when one had paid to get new and trending programmes.”
A source at the Consumer Protection Council said it had taken MultiChoice to court over the issue.
A bill to amend Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act that would make the airing of educational programmes compulsory on all TV channels has passed through a second reading in the country’s House of Representatives.
The bill is co-sponsored by the Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun (APC, Oyo) and James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos) and is an attempt to promote the teaching of courses or subjects in accordance with the curriculum in schools and also to help young children master electronic learning.
Others who supported or contributed to the bill include Reps Mohammed Monguno (APC), Borno; China Adamu (APC), Niger; Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbinayinma (APC), Edo; and Chris Azubuogu (PDP), Anambra.
Faleke said: “It is an effort to tackle and salvage the falling standard of education which is currently a national concern and embarrassment.
“If amended, all television/radio service providers such as MultiChoice (DSTV), StarTimes, NTA and others will be legally compelled to dedicate one or more channels to educational programmes.”
African pay TV group MultiChoice has launched its long-awaited talent academy in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy (MTF Academy) will give 20 skilled Nigerian and Ghanaian individuals a one-year funded opportunity to learn skills in storytelling, film editing, cinematography and audio production. Filmmaker Odugbemi, the academy’s West Africa director, will pass on his knowledge in film and TV production to the students.
In addition to Odugbemi, Monday’s launch was attended by Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State commissioner of arts, culture and tourism; Dr Idris Ziblim, Ghana’s deputy minister of arts, culture and tourism; John Ugbe, regional MD of MultiChoice Nigeria; and Dr Mike Okolo from the Pan Atlantic University.
Ayorinde expressed his appreciation to MultiChoice for organising the initiative and giving Nigerian youths the opportunity to learn film and TV production. “MultiChoice deserves huge commendation, and these 20 students should consider themselves lucky,” he said.
“They need to acknowledge the fact that stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Nigeria and across the continent expect a lot from them and should make good use of this opportunity.”
MultiChoice’s Ugbe added: “The film and television industry is the pioneer of creative industries in Africa and is particularly relevant as a tool for shaping the African narrative. We have been telling authentic and well-produced stories that only Africans themselves can tell.
“Nevertheless, there is a lot of raw talent that needs to be nurtured and polished. The academy will give such talent the opportunity to hone their skills, thereby increasing the pool of world-class talent within the industry. It’s also about teaching the selected candidates the business of film and television.”
Odugbemi said: “The talented creatives who will go through the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy will be primed as key players in the growth and sustainability of Africa’s creative film and television industry.
“As academy director, I will be preparing these candidates as future business owners who will, in turn, play their own part in building the economy around the industry. It’s time that we not only reap the rewards of high-quality TV and film products but also equally benefit from the investments behind the lens.”
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has appointed Nkateko Mabaso as the new CEO of its flagship channel M-Net in sub-Saharan Africa. The appointment is effective immediately.
According to Mabaso’s predecessor Yolisa Phahle: “Nkateko has been appointed in recognition of his continued commitment and contribution to local programming that audiences love and watch in increasing numbers year on year. He is passionate about our continent’s film and television industry and I wish him every success.”
While serving as the acting CEO of M-Net, Mabaso ensured the successful implementation of content strategies as well as investments in initiatives like content creation and coproduction.
He also ensured local channels that MultiChoice operates across the continent produced content that generated revenue and massive audience growth. These channels include the Africa Magic channels, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Zambezi Magic, Mzansi Magic, 1Magic and others.
Mabaso said: “I am incredibly excited to assume this new role and for the future of the company. I will continue to focus my efforts on local content creation to meet the growing audience demand for home-grown programming.”
Mabaso joined M-Net in 2009 as a marketing manager for Channel O and Vuzu, where he oversaw the positioning strategy ahead of the Mzansi Magic launch. Before that, he held positions at advertising agencies The Jupiter Drawing Room and Grey Advertising South Africa, as well as project manager for Edcon Group.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has named the 20 students who have been chosen to participate in the company’s Talent Factory Academy (aka MTF Academy).
The two-month selection process looked at 3,000 entries from Ghana and Nigeria. It was handled by a group of film and television industry experts and MultiChoice’s regional academy director Femi Odugbemi.
The students are: Adeniyi Joseph, Allen Onyige, Blessing Bulus, Bolaji James, Dumevi Irene, Edmund Asamoah, Gilbert Bassey, Henry Denkirya, Indogesit Peter, Iroagalachi Precious, Kemi Adeyemi, Metong Minwon, Mnena Akpera, Moses Akerele, Nanret Paul Kumbet, Umm’salma Saliu, Ugwu Uchenna Eileen, Sonia Nwosu, Kemi Tamara Adeyemi and Tochukwu Nwaiwu.
Most have similar backgrounds and interests. Among them are TV personalities, cinematographers, presenters, photographers, writers and producers.
Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world, plans to separately list entertainment subsidiary MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The new publicly listed company is named MultiChoice Group and comprises MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and conditional access tech firm Irdeto.
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company. 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.”
The level at which video entertainment has penetrated Africa is quite low, even though it is the fastest growing continent by GDP and population. This is why MultiChoice is being unbundled with limited leverage so it can pursue other opportunities in video entertainment.
This new business aims to offer streaming services online including DSTV Now and Showmax.
Video entertainment CEO Imtiaz Patel declared that: “There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now’s cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360-degree security suite, will provide a unique offering.”
Naspers’ video entertainment business, one of the fastest growing pay TV operators worldwide, entertains about 13.5 million households all over Africa due to its multi-platform structure.
The sixth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) was hosted on Saturday evening at the Eko Hotels & Suites in Lagos.
Media personalities and movie stars from across the continent were present at the ceremony, dressed up and ready to have some fun.
The AMVCAs had some 120 nominations in 27 categories. These included Best Short Film/Online Video, Best Movie East Africa, Best Overall Movie and Best Television Series. Other special awards were the Trailblazer Award and Industry Merit Award.
The Best Television Series award was taken by This Is It, beating four other nominees that included Gina & Friends, Professor Johnbull, Papa Ajasco Reloaded and Relatives.
Meanwhile, the winner of the best documentary award was Dennis Wanjohi for his film The Flesh Business. Other nominees were Nightfall in Lagos (James Amuta), God’s Wives (Bolanle Olukanni), Styles Defunct by Ayaworanho3d (Aderemi Davies) and Calabar Carnival: What the People Think (Oghenefego Ofili).
Actress and former Big Brother Naija housemate Bisola Aiyeola also won the AMVCA Trailblazer Award, not to mention a car from pay TV group MultiChoice, for her role in the industry.
Renowned filmmaker and producer Tunde Kelani (Arugba, Life in Slow Motion, Dazzling Mirage) was honoured with the Industry Merit Award.
The AMVCAs had its inaugural edition in 2013 and has gone on to become the biggest annual award ceremony celebrating professionals in the film and TV industry in Africa.