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.
African pay TV group MultiChoice, parent company of digital platforms DSTV and GOtv, has appealed a court ruling that has blocked it from increasing its prices.
The Naspers-owned company was recently taken to court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which demanded that it stop all implementation of its new subscription rates in Nigeria.
On August 23, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered the company to halt the tariff hike until further notice.
However, MultiChoice Nigeria has appealed against the ruling and stated that it will continue to maintain the new tariff, describing the ruling as “an affront to the free market economy.”
In a statement, it added: “We have now filed a notice of appeal and an application for stay of execution, pending the hearing of the appeal. The CPC has been accordingly served with the requisite processes.”
In July, MultiChoice Nigeria announced plans to increase its subscription tariff from August 1, citing the nation’s economic situation and costs of maintenance as the reasons for the decision.
Many Nigerians decried the action, arguing that it was effectively “extortion,” and pleaded for government intervention.
MultiChoice is one of the leading broadcasting companies in Nigeria, where it began operations in 1993. Its pay TV services DSTV and GOtv provide video entertainment for subscribers in 49 sub-Saharan African countries.
Broadcaster MultiChoice has released the names of 20 shortlisted applicants who have been selected to join the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).
Narrowing it down from about 3,000 applicants from Ghana and Nigeria, the MTF judges made their selections based on the candidates’ industry qualifications and their passion for telling the African narrative.
Femi Odugbemi, film director and producer and MTF regional director, said: “From the thousands of applications received, it’s evident there’s a strong desire to learn from and work with other African creatives.
“Not only will the MultiChoice Talent Factory be a springboard to a career in the entertainment industry, it will also create a closely knit community of African professionals with a willingness to narrate Africa’s stories to the world,” he added.
The shortlisted students include Nigerian candidates Idongesit Amba, Allen Onyige, Gilbert Bassey, Precious Iroagalachi, Nanret Paul Kumbet, Akpera Mnena, Umm’salma Saliu, Ugwu Uchenna Eileen, Sonia Nwosu, Moses Akerele, Metong Minwon, Bolaji Adelakun, Joseph Adeniyi, Kemi Tamara Adeyemi, Tochukwu Nwaiwu and Blessing Bulus.
The Ghanaian candidates are Edmund Kobby Asamoah, Henry Konadu Denkyira, Irene Dumevi Yaamoakoa and Patience Esiawonam Adisenu.
MultiChoice will sponsor the students’ tuition, accommodation and stipend for the duration of their training in the academy. The MTF academy will begin on October 1.
John Ugbe, MD of MultiChoice, said: “As a company that is deeply rooted in Nigeria, we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skillset to give back to their communities but may not be financially equipped to do so.
“The MultiChoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured and their talents developed to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry.”
From next month, MTF students will begin to acquire new skillsets required to work in the television and film industry. At the end of the 12-month programme, they will be expected to produce content for TV and film that will air on M-Net channels as part of MultiChoice pay TV platforms DSTV and GOtv.
Nigeria’s Consumers Protection Council (CPC) is taking further steps to prevent pay TV company DSTV from forcing a price hike on its subscribers.
Days after Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered DSTV owner MultiChoice Nigeria to stop the planned implementation of higher tariffs, the CPC stated that Nigerian consumers are complaining about the DSTV subscription process.
According to the CPC, DSTV subscribers have been finding it difficult to purchase new bouquet plans with the old rates after the court ordered MultiChoice to halt its price rises.
Despite the directive given by the courts, DSTV is yet to confirm that they will adhere to this order or released any statement addressing the issue.
The court restriction was put in place after an application was filed on behalf of the Nigerian government by the CPC in case No. FHC/ABJ/CS/894.
The application was facilitated by Babatunde Irukera, director general of the CPC, who led other concerned Nigerians to appear in court for the case. Other applicants who jointly signed a nine-paragraph statement include Abimbola Ojenike, Eme David-Ojugo, Moray Adebayo, Teniola Medupin and Florence Abebe.
Based on the complaint, the court restrained DSTV from implementing the tariff hike and carrying out activities that may affect the outcome of ongoing investigations by the CPC into the company’s compliance or non-compliance with the February 16, 2016 order pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The CPC is giving costumers a chance to have their complaints addressed, the council noted this in a statement. “In view of the continuing and increasing complaints that consumers are unsuccessful in renewing subscription in compliance with the order of the court, even after service of the order upon MultiChoice, the Council is setting up a special channel for receiving complaints for this purpose.”
The council stated that all subscribers experiencing any difficulty should email their complaints here, including information such as smart card number, name, telephone number, date and time of failed attempt to pay and, if possible, a screenshot or document that proves the complaint.
MultiChoice has launched a new channel, Star Life, on its pay TV platforms.
Starting from this week, DSTV and GOtv subscribers will have access to a 24/7 English-language channel that promises to showcase over two decades’ worth of award-winning and A-list shows. This includes TV dramas, Bollywood movies, celebrity dance shows and blockbuster movies.
However, Star Life is exclusive to DSTV Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family and GOtv Max bouquet subscribers. It will air on DSTV channel 167 and GOtv channel 23.
Speaking about the new channel, Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, said: “Delighting our customers with exceptional content is key for our business.
“What makes Star Life a remarkable addition to our content offering is that it has content that is relatable, with shows that aim to tell stories about weaknesses, strengths, miracles and victories.”
Star Life is from Asian satellite TV group Star, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. Star is one of the leading companies in Indian TV programming and operates in 100+ countries worldwide.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice’s price hike across its DSTV Nigeria subscription packages has come into effect.
Subscribers pay platform DSTV Nigeria were previously informed that they would see an increase in prices, with many voicing opposition to the move and insisting it be stopped, going so far as to plead with the federal government to intervene.
However, DSTV Nigeria countered that the tariff increase is necessary, stating that it is due to the current economic situation in Nigeria and the ever-escalating costs of operations and maintenance.
DSTV Premium customers will now pay N15,800 (US$43.89) per month, up from N14,700; DSTV Compact Plus subscribers will pay N10,650 instead of N9,900; and DSTV Compact customers will pay N6,800, up from N6,300.
DSTV Family now costs N4,000 (formerly N3, 800) and DSTV Access bouquet would be N2000 (previously N1900) per month.
Meanwhile, subscribers to DSTV sister company GOtv will enjoy a reduction on some bouquet prices. MultiChoice informed all customers of GOtv via text message that prices for GOtv Max will fall from N3,800 to N3,200, while GOtv Plus, GOtv Value and GOtv Lite subscribers will continue to pay N1,900, N1,250 and N400 respectively.
Sub-Saharan pay TV company MultiChoice is set to launch a pop-up channel that will broadcast throughout August.
The channel will focus on Nollywood movies and will be accessible to subscribers of MultiChoice-owned pay TV platforms DSTV and GOtv. It will air on DSTV channel 198 and GOtv channel 29.
Feature films such as Isoken, Okafor’s Law, A Trip to Jamaica, Lotanna, Road to Yesterday, Hakkunde and Dinner will all air on the temporary net. It will also feature a special AMVCA block that will showcase the nominees of the forthcoming Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2018.
Martin Mabutho, general manager of sales and marketing at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “With the first ever Nollywood pop-up channel, we are showcasing the best of Nigeria to the rest of the continent and the world at large.
“This presents an amazing opportunity for our subscribers to enjoy the best movies out of Nigeria at no extra cost.”
The Nollywood pop-up channel will also be available on the DSTV Now app.
Nigeria and Arsenal footballer Alex Iwobi has become a brand ambassador for pay TV company MultiChoice Nigeria.
Iwobi will initially be the face of MultiChoice-owned DSTV Compact, a subscription package that features football and entertainment content.
“We are pleased that we are bringing the excitement of the new football season even closer to our customers,” said John Ugbe, MD of MultiChoice Nigeria.
“Iwobi’s energy and the passion he displays on the pitch is what endears him to fans across the world and, as such, makes him a good fit for our brand.”
Ugbe added that the endorsement deal was a way of showcasing African and Nigerian talent in football.
Iwobi, who plays as a forward, said: “It’s an honour to be an ambassador for DSTV. Their passion for promoting sports is unrivalled across Africa.
“It has shown over the years that it is committed to bringing the highest quality of sporting programmes and entertainment to millions of Africans. I’m looking forward to the launch of our first project and many more to come in the future. I’m thankful to everyone who has made this possible and excited to be part of the DSTV family.”
Frederik Obasi, commercial agent for Iwobi, added: “It’s been a pleasure putting this exciting partnership together with MultiChoice. They have demonstrated their commitment to empowering the new generation of African talent.
“DSTV is a huge platform, which gives Iwobi exposure not just in Nigeria but the whole of Africa, and we are looking forward to this long-term partnership,” he said.
Iwobi recently represented Nigeria in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.
DSTV is one of the leading pay TV platforms in sub-Saharan Africa with over 100 channels and more than 11 million subscribers. It was one of the four official African broadcasters of the World Cup.
The eighth edition of the DSTV Eutelsat Star Awards essay and poster competition is now open for entries.
Students between the ages of 14 and 19 are encouraged to take part in the contest, which is organised by pay TV company MultiChoice in partnership with European satellite operator Eutelsat.
Entries will take the form of a creative writing project or poster that focuses on “areas you believe the full potential of satellites has not yet been tapped into or embraced.”
Submissions can be sent to any MultiChoice office listed on the entry form, which can be obtained from any MultiChoice Resource Centre or through its website.
Entries are accepted in English, French and Portuguese and will be judged on accuracy, creativity and originality.
Submissions will be accepted until October 12 and the overall winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in February.
Twenty-four students will be selected from the expected 1,000 entries and two finalists will be chosen.
The essay category winner gets a trip to Paris, where they will see a rocket launch. The poster category prize is a trip for two to South Africa where the winner will visit the South African National Space Agency as well as explore heritage sites as guests of MultiChoice Africa.
The DSTV Eutelsat Star Awards began in 2011 with the purpose of encouraging young minds to be innovative in the areas of science and technology. Since then more than 7,000 students have been involved in the competition which has created a platform for the collaboration of the academic and scientific worlds in Africa.
Based in Paris, Eutelsat is the third largest satellite operator worldwide. It provides coverage in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the US. Eutelsat’s satellites broadcast into over 274 million cable and satellite homes.
MultiChoice is the parent company of pay TV platforms DSTV and GOtv, which are among the leading cable networks on the continent, broadcasting in at least 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
African pay TV group MultiChoice is set to launch a pop-up TV channel in honour of the former president of South Africa and ANC leader, Nelson Mandela.
On Wednesday July 18, MultiChoice-owned pay TV platform DSTV will launch a pop-up channel dedicated to Mandela, aka Madiba, as a celebration of his legacy. The date also marks a 100 years since his birth.
The channel will broadcast for five days on DSTV channel 199. It will begin airing at 19.00 on that day and will be accessible to all DSTV subscribers.
Named Mandela 100 Tribute Channel, the channel was compiled by M-Net for DSTV. It will feature archive footage, films and documentaries of the late Mandela.
From Wednesday July 18 to Saturday July 21, the channel will air content including a four-part miniseries, films (such as The Long Walk to Freedom and Invictus) and documentaries. These include The Face of Unity; In the Name of Mandela; War & Peace; Mandela’s Unsung Heroes; and Countdown to Freedom.
Speaking about the channel, Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, said: “Around the globe, Nelson Mandela is revered as a hero of the struggle and as the man who led South Africa to democracy. While striving for justice and freedom and shaping a nation, he also changed the world with his humility and indomitable spirit.
“We are immensely proud to dedicate a unique pop-up channel to celebrate the life and legacy of this beacon of selflessness and reconciliation, who gave hope to millions.”
Pan-African pay TV platform MultiChoice is offering subscribers a free trial of its channels.
The Naspers-owned company is to give loyal customers access to some of its channels for 18 days at no extra cost.
From July 13 to 31, all customers of MultiChoice-owned DTH pay TV platform DSTV and DTT service GOtv will have unlimited access to the Supersport channels.
Some children’s channels on DSTV will also be made available without restrictions during this period. The channels include Cartoon Network and NickToons
GOtv Plus subscribers are also going to enjoy free access to five channels – Sony Max, CBSReality, ROK 2, Fox and SuperSport Select 4 – usually only accessible to GOtv Max subscribers. This offer will last from July 13 to 26.
According to the company, this initiative is a way to reward loyal customers.
John Ugbe, MD of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “MultiChoice Nigeria is excited to continue to bring customers the best in entertainment. This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring more value to our customers.
“At MultiChoice, we understand that times are tough for our subscribers who not only want to experience the best television entertainment but to do so at a price they can afford. However, we also understand our subscribers on lower bouquets would enjoy the opportunity to watch some of the content available on the higher bouquets.”