All posts by Gary

Killer profiler’s book to be adapted for TV

Charlotte Hope plays Micki Pistorius in Catch Me a Killer

South African psychologist and author Micki Pistorius is to have her 2003 autobiographical book Catch Me a Killer adapted as a TV drama.

The crime series is set in the mid-1990s and is based on the true story of Pistorius, a former journalist turned psychologist who became South Africa’s first serial-killer profiler. She worked for the South African Police Service tracking down the country’s most feared criminals.

The series is being adapted for the screen by Amy Jephta (Barakat, Trackers) and Jess Ruston (Young Wallander, Around the World in 80 Days) and directed by Tracey Larcombe (Innocent).

Executive producing is Simon Howley of UK-based CMAK Films and Herbert L Kloiber, Olivia Pahl and James Copp of Germany’s Night Train Media. Charlotte Hope (The Spanish Princess, Game of Thrones) has been cast as Pistorius.

Catch Me a Killer will premiere on South Africa’s M-Net/Showmax next year. International sales are beug handled by UK-based Abacus Media Rights.

“MultiChoice Group remains committed to being part of multiple coproductions with global partners, and we’re happy to add more titles to the growing list. We are proud to continue expanding such partnerships further to the benefit of all involved, be they in front of the camera or behind the scenes,” said Allan Sperling, executive head of content at Showmax.

Pistorius said: “It’s a fascinating process to watch my life dramatised, and we are thrilled to have such a talented actress as Charlotte on board.”

Howley added: “Bringing this book to the screen has been a labour of love for us and the talented production team led by Tracey Larcombe have exceeded our expectations in creating the atmosphere and intensity of the story.”

SPI’s Dizi channel enters Mozambique

International channels operator SPI/FilmBox and Moçambique Telecom (Tmcel) have partnered to make SPI’s Dizi channel accessible to mobile subscribers in Mozambique.

Georgina Twiss

The Dizi channel already reaches millions of households worldwide across CEE, western Europe, the Adria region and Africa through multiple operators with its slate of Turkish drama series.

Through this new partnership, subscribers will be able to access Dizi through one of Africa’s leading live mobile TV streaming platforms, Yabadoo.

Georgina Twiss, MD for western Europe and Africa at SPI International, said: “Our partnership with Tmcel for Dizi will surely excite the growing number of on-the-go fans of Turkish series in Mozambique who enjoy watching their favourite TV shows on their mobile devices.

“With Yabadoo, Tmcel subscribers can immerse themselves in the beautiful scenery and gripping storylines of the Dizi series without sacrificing their internet data and at their convenience.”

Adil Ginaby, Tmcel’s marketing manager, added: “With this partnership, Tmcel clients, specially Dizi lovers, will have access full-time to a variety of TV content, live and on-demand. Not charging mobile data is a differentiator with this service that, through Tmcel, will bring emotion to every customer.”

Showmax debuts sixth Kenyan drama

Pepeta

African streaming service Showmax has premiered a Kenyan crime drama called Pepeta, its sixth commissioned from the East African country.

The eight-part series captures the dreams and realities of young people in Kibera, which is known for churning out top football players.

Based on the story of Harun ‘Rio’ Wathari, a footballing star from Kibera, the series follows a 17-year-old footballer torn between the thrills of crime and the promises of soccer. It also features an unforgiving cop with a personal vendetta, determined to rid the streets of criminals, and an ambitious football coach determined to get the young footballer scouted before he gets shot.

Produced by CJ3 Entertainment and directed by Vincent Mbaya, the show’s cast includes Brahim Ouma, Malik Lemuel, Dedan J Onyango, Avril Nyambura, Marrianne Nungo and George Mo.

Mbaya said: “I had to dig deep into my experiences, especially working with young first-time actors. I really had to go back to my acting days and put myself in their shoes, guiding them through the process, helping them tap into the small things that define their characters. It was a very fulfilling experience.

“I think we are about to discover some amazing talent. Some of the more known faces also deliver on a level we haven’t seen them reach before.”

Pepeta is the sixth Kenya Showmax original following the successful debut of series County 49, Igiza, Crime & Justice, Single Kiasi and Baba Twins.

Ex-Beano Studios CEO joins StarzPlay

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) streamer StarzPlay has appointed David Guppy, former CEO at Beano Studios in the UK, as chief financial officer.

David Guppy

Guppy, who left Beano Studios earlier this year after just under five years with the company, has joined the Abu Dhabi-based streamer to oversee its financial operation.

The exec joined Beano Studios as chief financial officer in 2017 having held the same role at Octonauts producer Silvergate Media.

At Beano Studios, he was promoted to CFO and chief operating officer in 2018 and took over from former CEO Emma Scott in 2020. Guppy confirmed his appointment at StarzPlay on LinkedIn.

It comes after a consortium made up of content aggregator E-Vision and Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company ADQ completed their acquisition of a majority stake in StarzPlay’s Arabia operation in October.

E-Vision, which is owned by Abu Dhabi-based tech firm e&, combined its existing stake in the MENA streamer with ADQ’s new stake, giving the two a 57% stake in the company.

Minority shareholders in StarzPlay Arabia, which has close to two million subscribers across 19 countries, include Lionsgate-owned premium US cablenet Starz and SEQ Investors.

The service streams Hollywood movies, TV shows and documentaries plus live sports and kids’ entertainment alongside Turkish and Arabic content across MENA and Pakistan.

Its original content includes Baghdad Central as well as Starz originals such as Power, Outlander, Spartacus and The White Queen. It has deals with studios including MGM, 20th Century Studios, Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Discovery and Fox International Channels.

Lionsgate is in the process of withdrawing its streaming service Lionsgate+ (formerly known as StarzPlay) from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, the Nordics and Japan. Starz will maintain operations in the UK, Canada and Latin America.

More King of Boys in the works

King of Boys

African crime thriller franchise King of Boys, written, produced and directed by Nigerian filmmaker Kemi Adetiba, is set for a third outing.

Adetiba broke the news by writing on Instagram: “KOB 3… coming!”

The King of Boys movie debuted in cinemas in 2018, followed by a seven-part spin-off series titled King of Boys: The Return of the King on Netflix in 2021.

King of Boys follows a powerful businesswoman whose political ambitions are threatened by her underworld connections, and the ensuing power struggle could cost her everything. Production company Kemi Adetiba Visuals is behind the show.

In related news, Adetiba also revealed the start of auditions for two other new projects, namely To Kill a Monkey and Welcome to the 4th Floor.

“You asked for it. Open audition calls go out next week for two new Kemi Adetiba Visuals projects. I’m really looking for that next star(s). Exciting with a fresh burst of energy, so I need everyone coming for the auditions to BRING IT,” she said.

Details of the auditions are yet to be announced.

My Better World nominated for Emmy

My Better World

South African animated series My Better World has been nominated for an International Emmy Award in the Kids Factual & Entertainment category.

The 55-episode series follows the adventures of six African teens as they navigate the complex challenges of school, family and friendship. Along the way, they discover their strengths and learn how to support each other.

The series is based on a transformative life-skills course produced by a diverse team of African creatives, and brought to life by a team of 35 animators. Each episode features an inspiring documentary on real-life heroes across the continent and making a difference in their communities.

The series is made for teens across Africa in Swahili, English, Somali and Hausa and is produced by South Africa’s Fundi Films in collaboration with Johannesburg-based MAAN Creative for Impact(Ed) International.

It airs on channels and broadcasters including NTA Knowledge in Nigeria, AIT-Nigeria, ZNBC in Zambia, Luntha TV in Malawi, Akili Kids in Kenya, Tumpanni TV in Ghana, and Arewa24 and Citizen TV in Kenya.

The winners will be announced on November 21 at the 50th International Emmy Awards in New York City.

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Thapelo Molomo wins Idols South Africa

South African policeman Thapelo Molomo has been named winner of the 18th season of musical talent show Idols South Africa.

Thapelo Molomo

This year’s show was themed Singing a Different Tune and out of 12 contestants, Molomo emerged winner and Nozi Sibiya was runner up.

Molomo was awarded over R1m (US$58,000) cash, as well as access to a Standard Bank wealth manager, a Toyota Starlet, a fashion voucher from Truworths and live-show outfits, all to the value of R100,000.

Also part of the prize was R85,000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha and a recording contract with Kalawa Jazmee Records.

According to the Idols winner, the Idols SA journey offered him the opportunity to learn more about performing, music and how to handle himself as an artist.

“All honour and glory be unto God. Family, we are officially crowned Idols SA winner of season 18, 2022. All this is because of the mighty God we serve. We have seen his power and ability. Thank you family for all your votes and support throughout. I have seen your love,” said Molomo on Twitter.

Idols SA is based on the UK format Pop Idol from Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment and Fremantle and airs on Mzansi Magic channel 161.

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The Wife S3 debuts, sets viewing record

The Wife

The third season of South African telenovela The Wife has premiered and has set a new four-day viewing record on SVoD service Showmax.

This breaks the record previously held by the multi-award-winning Showmax original telenovela’s second season.

The Wife follows two star-crossed lovers, a Tswana doctor and Zulu taxi driver. When one goes missing, the Zulu brothers face the heat.

The new season stars Gaisang K Noge with other cast members including SAFTA winner Wiseman Mncube, Lungelo Mpangase and Sipho Ndlovu.

“In my acting journey, I was hoping for something that would challenge me – something that would take me out of my comfort zone because I was tired of playing the timid little girl from rural KZN,” Mpangase said.

Regarding her own personality versus that of her character in the soap, she added: “I’m such a soft girl. If there’s a fight, I will just cry or go home. I don’t want to be part of it. Yet she’s very strong and I love how brave she is. She’s a trigger-happy type of person.”

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Silverbird, Afreximbank to build film studio

Helen Brume of Afreximbank signed the partnership with Ben Murray-Bruce of Silverbird Group

Nigerian media and entertainment company Silverbird Group and multilateral trade finance institution African Export-Import Bank (aka Afreximbank) have entered into a partnership to build a film and studio complex in Lagos, Nigeria.

The agreement was signed by Helen Brume, director of projects and asset-based finance at Afreximbank, and Ben Murray-Bruce, founder of Silverbird Group. The studio will be named the Ben Murray-Bruce Studios & Film Academy (BMB Studios & Film Academy).

According to Afreximbank, the project will transform a 32,725-square-metre area in Eko Atlantic City into two purpose-built sound stages, a digital hub with music and broadcast studios, editing bays, screening rooms, studio backlot, production offices and a film academy designed to meet the aspirations of content creators.

Through the project, African talent will be equipped with skills and experience in film and television production thereby increasing local employment, stimulating business growth and development.

Both domestic and international students will be able to learn a wide range of film production disciplines, including cinematography, directing, filmmaking, gaming, music, post-production techniques, producing, screenwriting, VFX and animation.

It will also bring large-scale international productions to Africa and will establish a creative cluster to attract companies and talents with similar skills.

Kanayo Awani, executive VP of the Intra African Trade Bank at Afreximbank, said: “The deal we are signing today is of the utmost importance, not only for the significant support it provides to Africa’s burgeoning film industry, but especially because of the studio’s multipurpose potential to serve a range of sectors in the creative industries, from music and film to gaming and virtual reality.

“At Afreximbank, we recognise the power of Africa’s youth and creative talents to catalyse Africa’s trade, create millions of jobs and promote the emergence of national and regional value chains. This industry is bankable, and we aim to support its growth, expansion and sustainability. Afreximbank is proud to support this project.”

David Howell, CEO of the UK-based MetFilm School and education partner of the project, added that the partnership with the film academy will open opportunities to a new audience of future filmmakers and screen professionals.

Murray-Bruce said: “The BMB Studios & Film Academy is a response to Africa’s need for world-class technical skills and facilities that will accelerate the growth of its creative industries sector.

“From Netflix to Madison Square Gardens in New York, audiences are revelling in the magic of African storytelling. Now, more than ever, does the African continent need the world-class technical skills and facilities that will propel our creative industries to the next level. The BMB Studios & Film Academy is a response to this need and one that I believe will be a catalyst to driving agility, expertise and innovation in the African film and television industries.

“The studio will be an environment where content can be produced, managed and distributed digitally. The technical infrastructure will be the most advanced in West Africa, designed to handle the large bandwidth demands of media businesses; future-proofed to manage the expansion in new media content.

“We are creating a truly global platform for excellence in filmmaking, storytelling, and professional development. By 2030, I want the BMB Studios & Film Academy to represent the very pinnacle of what a studio and educational institution can be.”

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Netflix lines up first YA series from Nigeria

Far From Home

International streamer Netflix has announced the launch date of Far From Home, its first Nigerian show aimed at a young adult audience.

Produced in partnership with Inkblot Productions, the five-part series concluded principal photography earlier this year and is set for a December 16 global premiere on Netflix.

The series follows a charismatic teenager and talented artist from a poor family, played by Mike Afolarin, whose dreams suddenly appear within reach when a prestigious scholarship to the most exclusive school in the country catapults him into the affluent world of Nigeria’s elite.

The show blends up-and-coming talent and established screen stars, with a cast that includes Funke Akindele, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Bolanle Ninalowo, Bucci Franklin, Bimbo Akintola, Linda Ejiofor, Chioma Akpotha, Femi Branch, Carol King and Ufuoma Mcdermott.

Nigerian scriptwriter Dami Elebe served as the series’ head writer, with Chinaza Onuzo, Erika Klopper, Zulumoke Oyibo and Damola Ademola as executive producers.

Inkblot is the Lagos company behind the lucrative movie franchise The Wedding Party and Moms at War 2, and also signed a three-year deal with Amazon Studios last year.

Onuzo said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Netflix to create this special show on a global scale for and about young Nigerians. Working with such an amazing cast and crew to tell this unique story about making your way in the world and chasing your dreams no matter your status in life is such a privilege and honour.”

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Thema unveils new African OTT platform

Canal+ Group-owned channel distribution company Thema has launched a new OTT platform called My Bouquet Africain in partnership with video content management solution company OKast.

Timothée Vidal

The collaboration is aimed at distributing African content to French-speaking sub-Saharan African audiences in Europe while guaranteeing an innovative multi-screen OTT experience to subscribers. It features more than 13 television channels and a catalogue of over 100 films and series, ranging from Canal+ original productions to Nollywood and Senegalese drama.

Timothée Vidal, senior VP of multicultural distribution and digital at Thema, said: “Thema is delighted by this collaboration with OKast, which has proven to be a reliable partner in providing the best quality of service to our customers. This new launch is fully in line with the strategic orientation undertaken by Thema on the digital field and will surely lead the way for new ones.”

“We are delighted that OKast OTT has convinced such a prestigious player as Thema. It demonstrates that modern cloud-based solution allows fast deployment of state-of-the-art OTT solution with a proven economy of scale. We can’t wait to be streaming the best content from Africa to the widest audience,” added Cédric Monnier, CEO of OKast.

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MultiChoice reaches 22.1m households

MultiChoice Group achieved solid subscriber growth and steady earnings for the half-year ended September 30, according to the African entertainment company.

Calvo Mawela

The group’s linear pay TV subscriber base (measured on a 90-day active basis) increased by one million (5%) to 22.1 million households, comprising 9.1 million (41%) in South Africa and 13 million (59%) in the rest of Africa (RoA).

The year-on-year (YoY) growth rate for paying subscribers on the company’s streamer Showmax was 50%, while the overall online user base increased by 13%. Actual subs numbers for Showmax were not disclosed.

RoA maintained its growth trajectory on the back of successful local content productions, MultiChoice said. In South Africa, growth rates recovered during the second half of the reporting period despite evidence of rising consumer pressure.

In terms of the local content strategy, the company launched two more local channels in sub-Saharan Africa and produced another 3,084 hours of local content, an increase of 15% YoY. Accounting for 48% of total general entertainment spend, this ongoing investment in local content brought the total content library to around 73,000 hours.

In Nigeria, a new season of Big Brother Naija delivered record viewership, as well as strong growth in advertising revenues. In South Africa, the group produced two coproductions – Blood Psalms and Girl, Taken – with another seven coproductions in the pipeline.

Reyka, an original coproduction from South Africa, was nominated for the Drama Series prize at the International Emmy Awards 2022.

The group is currently producing the epic original drama series Shaka Ilembe, which will be broadcast during 2023 and is already receiving significant international interest. It also continues to roll out adaptations of popular telenovelas in different regions, such as 1Magic’s The River, which has been successfully adapted as Kina in Kenya and O Rio in Angola.

Showmax further localised its business with more local content such as Real Housewives of Lagos, Troukoors S2, Uthando Lodumo S2, Diiche and Steinheist.

In terms of financials, MultiChoice Group revenue was up ZAR1.8bn (US$104m) to ZAR28.6bn, and trading profit amounted to ZAR6.1bn – up 6% despite a ZAR700m investment in new decoders ahead of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

“After a slower-than-usual start to the year, with global fuel and food price shocks negatively impacting consumer sentiment, our business regained momentum due to our engaging local content slate and strong local capabilities,” said Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice Group.

“Despite the challenging macro-economic environment, we are well positioned given our exciting content slate. In the second half of the financial year, a core focus will be the broadcasting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and producing more local content that resonates with our customers. Going forward, we will look for more opportunities to grow beyond pay television.”

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Federation, Empreinte set up MEAC arm

Paris-based Federation Studios and Empreinte Digitale have set up a production subsidiary for the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean led by Empreinte Digitale’s Joachim Landau.

Joachim Landau

Federation MEAC will look to work with and connect talent from the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean via productions and coproductions.

The Federation subsidiary’s co-founding chairman, Landau is a producer of documentaries, unscripted programming and series with Empreinte Digitale, which has been part of the Federation Studios group since 2017.

Lionel Uzan, MD of Federation Studios, and Raphaël Rocher, MD of Empreinte Digitale, will be on the board alongside Landau, who joined Empreinte Digitale in 2014 from the content division of Orange.

Landau co-created and is producing the South African series Spinners for Empreinte Digitale, which is filmed in Cape Town and coproduced by Natives at Large for Canal+ and Showmax.

He will be assisted at Federation MEAC by producer Manuela Cassuto, who will serve as head of development in charge of sourcing projects and taking them into production.

Federation MEAC has around 15 projects in development according to its parent company, spanning mainstream feature films, documentaries, scripted series in genres such as rom com, thriller and action.

“The audiovisual market in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean is expanding fast, with a plethora of excellent writers, directors, actors and producers,” said Landau.

“Their inventiveness and energy reflects that of Federation so much so that we just had to be present in these markets. We aim to help them grow internationally and to create synergies with our group, by sharing formats, for example.”

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BBC Arts doc focuses on African culture

African Renaissance

Suzy Klein, head of arts and classical music TV at UK public broadcaster the BBC, has unveiled a factual series for 2023 that explores African culture.

African Renaissance (3×60’), from London-based production company ClearStory, sees journalist Afua Hirsch explore some of the most exciting cultures in Africa.

The travelogue visits Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco, three of Africa’s biggest countries, where young people are rewriting the cultural narrative with a thriving art, music and fashion scene that is reverberating around the world.

The series is in production and will launch on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in 2023.

ClearStory is an independent TV production company founded by the Bafta- and Grierson Award-winning executive producers Molly Milton and Russell Barnes.

Klein said African Renaissance will “showcase BBC Arts’ reputation for making documentaries of depth, complexity, discovery and unparalleled quality.”

She added: “The return of Afua Hirsch to Africa – the youngest and most culturally dynamic continent on earth right now – promises to be full of energy and discovery.”

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NBA, ESPN Africa agree broadcast deal

The US-based National Basketball Association (NBA) and entertainment and sports programming network ESPN Africa have announced a multi-year broadcast deal to provide expanded NBA coverage on the African continent.

Kyle De Klerk

Disney-owned ESPN Africa will feature original content covering NBA Africa events, including youth and elite basketball development programming, NBA player and legend appearances.

The programming network will broadcast all 45 games live in primetime in Africa, ESPN2 will broadcast 30 classic games each season and will air the NBA Christmas Day games, NBA All-Star, the Play-In Tournament, weekly magazine show NBA Action, the NBA Draft and multi-game live look-in programme NBA 360.

Audiences across Africa will also have access to new localised NBA programming.

Kyle De Klerk, The Walt Disney Company Africa’s director of sports, said: “As the home of American sports in Africa, ESPN is committed to showcasing the very best in premier sporting content through a uniquely diversified and exciting portfolio of sporting leagues to audiences across Africa.

“This extended broadcast agreement with NBA Africa expands on this promise, and the exhilarating new programming on offer will give fans across the continent even more opportunity to share in the passion and excellence of this renowned league.”

Kornelia Semmelink, NBA Africa senior director of global media partnerships, added: “ESPN Africa airing a record number of NBA games and providing more locally relevant content to our fans underscores the momentum for the NBA in Africa and will help us continue to grow the game across the continent.

“Through this expanded collaboration, we will make the excitement of the NBA more accessible to fans in Africa on the devices and platforms they use most, including in primetime.”

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M-Net adds pair of new channels

South African pay television platform M-Net has launched two new channels, called Magic Showcase and CineMagic.

Nomsa Philiso

Magic Showcase has began airing as an 18-hour channel showing a selection of MultiChoice’s locally produced documentary, drama, lifestyle, reality and kids’ programming, plus music specials and stand-up comedy. Its shows include Our Perfect Wedding, reality TV’s modern classic Being Bonang and the award-winning telenovela Legacy.

Meanwhile, CineMagic, which is a 12-hour movie channel, will debut on November 14 showcasing locally made African films as well as international independent titles.

Nomsa Philiso, CEO of general entertainment, said: “At MultiChoice Group, we are committed to giving our subscribers on varying packages the best content there is to offer. We are proud to grow the EasyView content slate, allowing our subscribers on this package to enjoy award-winning and top-tier local shows and movies from across the continent.”

Director of M-Net channels Jan Du Plessis added: “The addition of two new M-Net channels to the EasyView package only further enhances the subscriber viewing experience. We’ve used the M-Net model in conceptualising and branding the channels – the look and feel are inspired by the mother brand, Novela Magic. We trust that viewers will be pleased with the channels and their offerings once they go live.

“In order to make way for these two brand-new, exciting channels, Novela Magic will be closing as of November 27 in South Africa but will remain in the rest of Africa.”

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Lagos state, Del-York start media project

Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other stakeholders at the signing of the deal

The Lagos state government has partnered with advertising agency Del-York Group to commission the construction of the Africa Film and Media City in Epe, Lagos.

The signing of the deal took place reently at the Lagos Economic Summit and was approved by Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the presence of the founder of Del-York Group, Linus Idahosa.

The project, which will start construction next year, is aimed at exporting Africa’s film and TV capacity and creativity to global audiences in a sustainable way through a purpose-designed infrastructure that will benefit creatives on the continent.

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SPI, Canal+ take Gametoon to Ethiopia

International media company SPI/FilmBox and its parent Canal+ Group have partnered to launch SPI’s gaming and e-sports channel Gametoon in Ethiopia.

Georgina Twiss

The move comes shortly after SPI launched FilmBox movie channels FilmBox Africa, FilmBox Action and FilmBox Family.

Gametoon, created by gaming and e-sports enthusiasts, features highlights of popular games, entertainment content from gaming YouTubers, video game tournaments with million-dollar prize pools and more.

Georgina Twiss, MD for western Europe and Africa at SPI International, said: “We are delighted to build on our existing carriage of FightBox with Gametoon and the full portfolio of FilmBox brands including the launch in the market of FilmBox Action and FilmBox Family.

“Following their popularity in other countries and following local demand, we wanted to offer the same rich bouquet in Africa. The SPI/FilmBox portfolio of channels, now enriched also by Gametoon and available via Canal+ offers in Ethiopia, will entertain and engage audiences of all ages and tastes.”

Alexandre Gruner, senior VP of channel acquisitions and partnerships for Canal+ International, added: “We are very pleased to pursue the partnership with our new family member, SPI, with the launch of the FilmBox movies portfolio as well as Gametoon. Those channels will appeal to our Ethiopian viewers and strengthen our offer.”

Gametoon is available on channel 71 in the Desta package.

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MultiChoice, WWE close broadcast deal

Pay TV company MultiChoice and over-the-top streaming service WWE Network have entered into a broadcast deal making the Showmax platform the new home of WWE in Africa.

Matt Drew

All WWE premium live events, including WrestleMania and WWE Network’s vast library of original and archived programming, will be made available to stream on-demand.

The deal also means SuperSport will continue to broadcast live weekly episodes of Raw, SmackDown and NXT, as well as all of WWE’s premium live events.

Matt Drew, WWE’s senior VP for international, said: “Showmax is the market leader and a perfect home for WWE content. By delivering our premium live events, including WrestleMania, we believe this partnership will expand our audience and deliver even more to WWE fans throughout the region.”

“Adding WWE to the Showmax platform is an exciting development that we know our entertainment and sport-loving African subscribers are going to enjoy, making WWE even more accessible and affordable,” said Yolisa Phahle, CEO of MultiChoice Connected Video.

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Showmax UK picks up African titles

SVoD service Showmax UK has lined up four African originals to debut this month.

Flawsome

They comprise season three of South African telenovela The Wife (November 10), Nigerian drama series Flawsome (November 10), the third instalment of South African comedy series Tali’s Joburg Diary (November 18) and S1 of South African murder mystery Donkerbos (November 29).

The Wife follows two star-crossed lovers, Tswana doctor Naledi Montsho and Zulu taxi driver Qhawe. When Naledi goes missing, the Zulu brothers face the heat.

The cast includes Wiseman Mncube, Sello Motloung (Blood Psalms), Stoan Seate, Mo Setumo (The Queen) and 2022 SAFTA nominee Mathews Rantsoma (Scandal!).

“With Naledi missing and the Zulu brothers’ crimes now front-page news, the third and final season of The Wife is going to be explosive. The Zulu brothers may have finally met their match in Naledi’s family,” said head writer Busisiwe Ntintili.

Flawsome follows the lives of four friends, played by Bisola Aiyeola (Sugar Rush), Ini Dima-Okojie (Blood Sisters), Sharon Ooja (Òlòtūré) and Enado Odigie (Unmarried), as they navigate their personal and professional lives while bound by the flawed yet unbreakable ties they share.

The 13-part series was created and directed by Tola Odunsi and also stars Gabriel Afolayan, John Dumelo, Baaj Adebule, Iretiola Doyle, Toyin Abraham, Chris Attoh, Ali Nuhu, Joselyn Dumas and Shine Rosman.

Meanwhile, in the new season of Tali’s Joburg Diary, Tali moves back to the city determined to get Jayden into premium preschool Little Angels in Hyde Park and reclaim her crown.

In Donkerbos, the bodies of six children are found in the forest while Limpopo, an ostracised detective, must wrestle with her dark past, her family and a distrustful community to catch the killer before another child is taken.

The series was created by Nico Scheepers (Nerens, Noord Kaap) and produced by Nagvlug (Skemerdans, Barakat) and its cast switches between the use of English, Afrikaans and Venda.

Its cast includes Thoko Ntshinga (The River), Fleur du Cap winners Sanda Shandu (Skemerdans) and Nicole Holm (Fynskrif), and Silwerskerm winners Stian Bam (Racheltjie de Beer) and Jacques Bessenger (Fynskrif, Warrior).

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