Yanga TV, the UK channel that targets the African diaspora, has begun streaming its programmes via its online platform.
Shows now available online include Noni, The Business, Fizzi, Exchange with Mark Eddo, Green Screen Greats, Turn Up, Number 6, One to One and Journalists’ Hangout UK.
Noni, a talkshow aimed at African women, is hosted by Juliana Olayinka, while children’s show Fizzi appeals to both kids and their parents, bringing to life nursery rhymes and lively shows in indigenous languages.
Other examples of shows that Yanga airs include Colombian telenovela La Esclava Blanca, music series Turn Up and lifestyle show Green Screen Greats. All these shows can be viewed in the UK on Sky Channel 453 and Freesat 171 at different times.
The channel, which launched earlier this year, is run by Africa MediaWorks MD Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International.
The first panel session at the Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the country’s pay TV industry.
Addressing the issue of sustainability and growth in the pay TV business in Nigeria, panelists discussed the challenges and ways in which these can be overcome.
Panelists included Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV; Emeka Mba, former NBC director general and now CEO of Questechmedia Consulting; Bamidele Adetunji, CEO at Montage Media Group; and Zachary Wazara, CEO of Kwese TV. The session was moderated by Lindsey Oliver, CEO of Yanga TV.
The conversation kicked off with an evaluation of the industry as a whole and how it has evolved so far. Panelists agreed that rapid development of technology poses a challenge for pay TV platforms.
“The internet is changing consumer behaviour and business models,” said Wazara.
Meanwhile, despite agreeing that other industries are threatening the growth of the TV industry, Adetunji stated that the challenge to sustainability is a lack of proper recording technology and archiving.
“There was time I wanted to produce an epic Nigerian movie but was told it was unavailable because a recording had been done over the master recording, which basically means it no longer exists.
“And this leads me to ask, who has the rights to TV series like [classic Nigerian drama] Village Headmaster? Where are our formats? Where are our records? There are no local formats, yet international formats still exist,” said Adetunji.
Addressing the issue of telcos encroaching on the TV industry, Mba stated: “There are no level playing fields in an industry that is hugely dependent on technology and data to operate.”
Buttressing his point, Adenaike added: “There are enormous challenges in the industry and some pay TV companies are forced to deliver certain kinds of content because they are working with what is available, which is not much.”
Speaking about the way forward, Adetunji suggested that Nigeria should establish a commercial satellite platform so local pay TV channels don’t have to form partnerships with international satellites and pay “astronomical” amounts to air content. This is especially true when consumers do not understand a pay TV channel’s need for high prices because all they want is content at a low cost.
A channel specialising in content aimed at Africans and the African diaspora is set to launch in the UK next year and has been in Cannes this week on the hunt for content.
Yanga TV is due to launch on pay TV platform Sky in January next year and is being overseen by Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International.
The channel will air a range of different programming covering drama, lifestyle, news, entertainment, stand-up comedy and children’s, with executives at Mipcom this week on the lookout for shows.
Mansour Bellow (pictured), an on-screen presenter for the channel, told C21 here in Cannes that the aim is to bring something “fresh” to the UK TV landscape with plenty of variety.
“Sometimes a TV channel will repeat the same thing six times in one day. But we really want to deliver quality that Africans can be proud of,” said Bellow.
The host, who has been filming content for the channel while in Cannes this week, added that the channel execs are considering airing children’s programming in the Nigerian dialect of Yoruba.
Yanga, which is Nigerian slang for being confident, will aim to give UK viewers with Nigerian heritage a “closer understanding of their culture,” Bellow added.
Oliver, who most recently served as international commercial director at Bloomberg Television, is currently MD of Chiswick Park Studios, a UK-based company that creates programmes, news and entertainment for Africans and the African diaspora.