A new spin-off from the Big Brother reality TV franchise, titled Big Brother Titans, has begun auditioning prospective Nigerian and South African participants.
The show is slated to start airing next year and will be a mix of reality shows Big Brother Naija and Big Brother Mzansi and will feature new contestants from both Nigeria and South Africa.
Interested participants aged 21 and over who would like to be one of the Big Brother housemates can register here.
“Introducing Big Brother Titans. Naija meets Southie, Afrobeat meets Amapiano. It’s gonna be lit. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be in this special edition, go ahead and register now,” said DStv in a statement.
France’s Canal+ Group has increased its stake in African pay TV company MultiChoice Group to more than 26%, having almost doubled its interest in the company over the past year.
Canal+ has gradually upped its stake in the South African company behind the DStv and GOtv pay TV platforms since it first acquired a 6.5% interest in October 2020.
A year ago, the Paris-based broadcasting giant announced that it owned 15% stake in MultiChoice; this rose to 18.44% in June this year, then 20.12% a month later.
A statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) this week revealed that Canal+ has further increased this to 26.26%. Canal+ is owned by Vivendi, a mass media holding company that also owns Gameloft, Havas and Prisma Media.
As required by South Africa’s Companies Act, MultiChoice has filed the required notice with the JSE’s Takeover Regulation Panel. If Canal+ acquires a 35% interest in MutliChoice, it would trigger a mandatory offer to shareholders.
However, whether or not Canal+ and Vivendi owner Vincent Bollore intends to make an offer to acquire MultiChoice, it would face some major hurdles, given South Africa’s tight restrictions over the foreign ownership of broadcasters.
“While the group regularly engages investors and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community, its policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders, nor on its interactions with them,” said MultiChoice this week.
Canal+ and MultiChoice have worked together in recent years, coproducing shows such as the South African action-drama series Spinners (8×50’) and gritty Kenyan police procedural Crime & Justice, both made with MultiChoice’s streamer Showmax.
Showmax and Canal+’s African OTT platform MyCanal also coproduced 10-episode South African drama Blood Psalms, based on a pre-colonial Xhosa legend. Canal+ also operates Canal+ Afrique, an African version of Canal+ available mainly in the francophone countries of Central and West Africa.
MultiChoice is backed by African internet company Naspers.
African pay TV operator DStv is set to launch a new channel called Movie Room this month.
Movie Room is operated by South Africa-based Ngwato Nkosi Group, a company formed by TV production entrepreneurs Thokozani Nkosi and Thabile Ngwato, who also founded news channel Newzroom Afrika.
The new channel will build on the platform created by Newzroom Afrika and expand the group’s entertainment offering.
“From big blockbuster hits to unforgettable cinema classics, this channel will offer entertaining local and international movies 24/7,” Nkosi said.
“We’ll be carefully curating the line-up to cater for every mood, such as edge-of-your-seat action or the comfort of an old favourite. Of course, we’ll also apply the unique perspective that we’ve become known for.”
Ngwato added: “This is an exciting next step in our journey. Newzroom Afrika has been successful beyond all expectations, and we will use the experience of setting up the channel from scratch to make smart decisions in our approach with Movie Room. Our team is entrepreneurial by nature and we have a core group of seasoned and creative talent that sets us apart.”
Georginah Machiridza, executive head of content strategy and third-party channels at DStv owner MultiChoice, said: “We’re excited to bring subscribers the widest possible choice of fine movies to satisfy all tastes and seasons.”
Movie Room will start airing on DStv channel 113 on August 27 and will be available in South Africa to all DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family and Access customers.
South African talent/reality show Idols SA is back for an 18th season, after debuting in the country in 2002.
The show is based on popular UK show Pop Idol, which debuted on ITV in 2001 and has been produced in more than 50 territories, including the US. The format is distributed by Fremantle.
The South African adaptation aims to determine the best young singer in South Africa and is set to debut on MNet-owned SA network Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) at 17.30 on July 17.
Under the theme Singing a Different Tune, this year’s show will see 16 hopefuls compete.
The judges who will nurture and usher in these new talents including pop culture icon Thembi Seete, rapper/producer extraordinaire JR Bogopa and multi-talented choreographer and TV star Somizi Mhlongo, while the host will be co-executive producer Tebogo ‘ProVerb’ Thekisho.
Shirley Adonisi, director of local entertainment channels at MNet, said: “Idols SA is back! As much as it is about the music, it is also about the people. We are proud to unearth new and emerging talent, and our viewers form emotional connections with the singers as we follow along their journey from audition stage to making a career from their passion. We are excited to see who season 18 brings us.
“We are also excited to welcome our new headline sponsor, Standard Bank, as a valued partner for this season. They have, over the years, proven to be passionate about making dreams come true, and our winners should look forward to a basket of great prizes, which will be announced in due course.”
Lindy Lou Alexander, head of brand and marketing at Standard Bank, added: “True to our values at Standard Bank, we want to give South Africans the tools and support they need to achieve their dreams and aspirations and this sponsorship helps us do just that. It’s all about taking the first steps to building your dreams and believing that it can be a reality. We’re really excited to be part of the journey, all the best to those fighting to make their dreams a reality.”
Berenike Trytsman (aka Berry) from Cape Town emerged as the winner of season 17.
Telecoms company MTN Group and pay TV operator DStv have won places in marketing body Brand Africa’s list of the top 100 most admired brands on the continent.
The list for 2022, which looked at Nigeria, West Africa and Africa as a whole, was compiled by Johannesburg-based company Brand Africa and was revealed at a ceremony held in Lagos, Nigeria.
MTN ranked as the most admired African brand, while MultiChoice-owned DStv was named top media name, followed by the BBC and CNN in that category. Broadcaster Channels TV was the most admired Nigerian media brand.
Overall, taking into account both African and non-African brands, US footwear maker Nike took the top spot once again as most admired brand in Africa, as it did in 2021 and 2020. Overall, only 17 of the top 100 brands originated in Africa, including MTN (10th place), Globacom (32nd) and DStv (37th).
Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of Brand Africa, said: “No one can do Africa better than Africans.” But he acknowledged that Africans often undervalue the continent’s brands, which is why he launched Brand Africa in 2010, to drive collaboration promoting African places, products and people.
Pay TV company MultiChoice has partnered with The Walt Disney Company Africa to bring streaming service Disney+ to the company’s DStv digital satellite platform in South Africa.
Disney+ is set to launch in South Africa on May 18 and will be available to DStv subscribers via the Explora Ultra decoder. They will have access to a collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action, animated series and shortform content.
Christine Service, senior VP and general manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, said: “This is yet another proud milestone in our partnership with the MultiChoice Group. We are delighted to be collaborating to bring South African DStv subscribers access to Disney+’s incredible catalogue of films, series and exclusive content.”
Calvo Mawela, group CEO of MultiChoice, added: “In line with our business objective of adding value and enhancing our ecosystem, we are focused on making sure that all our customers can enjoy their favourite shows and movies anywhere, anytime, on our world-class platforms.
“The digital world has brought with it fundamental shifts and our customers are looking for convenient access to a portfolio of entertainment options. MultiChoice’s partnership with Disney+ leads with an expanded choice of content, ease and convenience of subscription and payment, with the DStv Explora Ultra as an enabler.”
Disney+ launched in the US in November 2019 and has since expanded around the world and amassed more than 130 million subscribers. It will be available in more than 50 countries by the end of 2022 and in over 160 by the end of 2023.
As well as the South African launch next month, Disney+ will also debut in the Middle East and North Africa on June 8 and in Israel on June 16.
MultiChoice-owned entertainment channel Africa Magic has unveiled a new gameshow titled Come Play Naija.
The 60-minute gameshow format involves two teams competing against each other for a chance to win millions of Naira and other surprise prizes such as a new car.
The show is divided into five segments with different games, namely a trivia game, three obstacle courses and a contest called Spin the Wheel. Each segment will require one or more team members to participate in the games which are valued from N400,000 to N2,000,000.
Subscribers to MultiChoice’s pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv will also have the opportunity to take part in the home play edition on the Saturday live show to win cash prizes.
Busola Tejumola, executive head of content and West Africa channels at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “The new show is an entertainment package that will further affirm Africa Magic’s position as a leading local entertainment provider, ranging from reality shows to movies, drama series, and now family gameshows.
“We are very excited about our latest show which happens to be a first-of-its-kind family gameshow in Nigeria. We know how much our viewers enjoyed the Big Brother Naija’s Friday night games, so we decided to create a show where they get to participate in light-hearted, fun, entertaining and fast-paced games to win amazing prizes.”
The show will be hosted by media personality Hero Daniels and will premiere on March 3 at 9pm on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv channel 151), Africa Magic Urban (DStv channel 153 and GOtv SUPA channel 6) and Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154 and GOtv channel 2).
Pay TV company MultiChoice has collaborated with online learning platform Udemy to offer its DStv and GOtv customers across Africa skills advancement and development opportunities.
According to South Africa-based MultiChoice, over the years its customers have been able to access educational content on Discovery, Nat Geo Wild, History Channel, DaVinci Kids, BBC and other channels.
They will therefore have access to some of the best online learning opportunities available as well as thousands of courses to aid them in their personal and professional development.
Fhulufhelo Badugela, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, said: “We’re very excited to partner with an innovative and purposeful platform like Udemy, especially as the world shifts to an online learning future.
“We are constantly seeking ways to enrich and progress the lives of our valued customers and tapping into learning and development is a natural next step. Investing in the future of our continent is a top priority and we are proud to be able to collaborate with another platform that values the accessible advancement of our customers as much as we do.”
Llibert Argerich, senior VP of marketing at Udemy, added: “As a global learning platform, our mission is to provide access and create new opportunities for learners around the world, across a wide range of content areas and at all levels of expertise. MultiChoice has a long history of prioritising learning, and we’re proud to be working with them to unlock new possibilities for learners across the continent.”
Musical reality show Nigerian Idol, based on Fremantle’s globe-trotting talent show format, is coming back for a seventh season.
MultiChoice Nigeria has announced that online auditions are open and will close on November 28. Anyone interested aged between16 and 30 should upload a 60-second video of themselves singing any song of their choice here.
Busola Tejumola, executive head of content and West Africa channels at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “MultiChoice remains committed to promoting and giving young music talents in Nigeria a platform to shine and actualise their dreams.
“Season seven promises to be even bigger and more entertaining. So if you believe you have what it takes to be the next Nigerian Idol, be a part of the auditions.”
The show is sponsored by beverage company Bigi Drinks and will air on MultiChoice pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv in February 2022.
Online auditions have begun for season three of South African reality series Big Brother Mzansi, following M-Net’s announcement it was renewing the show for another season.
South Africans who are articulate, interesting, reveal enthusiasm for the project, have a willingness to share their most private thoughts in an open forum and can stay 100 days in a camera-filled house can apply by uploading a two-minute video of themselves showing why they should be one of the contestants.
Big Brother Mzansi will run as a 24/7 channel on MultiChoice’s DStv, with daily highlight shows on M-Net’s Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).
Formerly known as Big Brother South Africa, the show aired its last season in 2015. It is one of 69 adaptations of the Banijay-owned format worldwide and 2021 marks 20 years since the first ever Big Brother South Africa.
African pay TV operator MultiChoice has revealed plans to launch a new network named Me on channel 115 through its digital satellite TV platform DStv.
Me combines two channels – M-Net City 115 and Vuzu 116 – and is targeted at DStv Family and DStv Compact viewers but will also be available to subscribers to the DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus packages.
MultiChoice said the channel, which launches at 16.00 on November 1, will enable viewers watch world-class series and reality shows in one place by offering them a wide selection of international programming.
This includes daily episodes of imported series such as The Rookie, NCIS: New Orleans, Survivor Australia and Young Sheldon from 17.00 to 20.00, as well as other series like Lioness, Prodigal Son, reality shows Beat Shazam, American Idol and Growing Up Hip Hop, and acclaimed dramas including Queen Sugar.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment for Multichoice Group, said: “We’re changing the way we package content and creating a single, extensive, well-curated destination. Me will give our viewers and subscribers a multifaceted, competitive channel offering, and we’re pleased to offer the best international entertainment in one place.
“Me is a destination for primarily the 18- to 34-year-old market and, in addition to international scripted content, it will feature lifestyle shows and celebrity content that has been previously broadcast on M-Net Channel 101 and 1Magic. Me is taking us in an exciting direction that speaks to the multiplatform world we live in and further sharpens our aim to give our subscribers content that they connect with.”
MultiChoice said M-Net City (DStv channel 115) and Vuzu (DStv channel 116) will officially close on Friday October 29 to make room for the new service.
Hazel Oyeye Onou, popularly known as Whitemoney and hailing from Enugu State in Nigeria, was this week crowned the winner of the sixth edition of reality show Big Brother Naija (BBNaija).
The show, taglined Shine Ya Eye, started airing on MultiChoice platforms DStv and GOtv in July with 22 housemates who lived together in isolation for 71 days, as per the format of the globe-trotting Dutch reality show distributed by Banijay Rights.
The housemates perform various tasks and are evicted weekly until one is left. Whitemoney won the N90m (US$219,000) grand prize while Liquorose emerged as the first runner-up and Pere as the second runner-up.
Celebrating his win on Instagram, Whitemoney said: “It’s your boy Whitemoney. Street boy has made it to the top. Street boy has won the show Shine Ya Eye. Money gang I love you. I love you all.”
Pay TV operator DStv has been ranked as South Africa’s eighth most valuable brand in the recently published Kantar BrandZ 2021 report.
DStv has moved up two positions from its 2020 placement and is the only brand in the media and entertainment category in the top 10. It is valued at US$1.25bn, accounting for 4.3% of the top 10’s total value of US$18.7bn.
Above DStv in the South African rankings published by analyst and research firm Kantar were First National Bank in the top spot, followed by telco Vodacom, beer brand Castle, Standard Bank, telco MTN, fast food chain Nando’s and insurance firm Discovery. Below DStv were banking firm Absa in 9th and retailer Woolworth in 10th.
Jabavu Heshu, group executive for corporate affairs at DStv parent company MultiChoice Group, said: “We remain committed to placing the customer at the centre of everything we do – and the improvement in our place from 2020’s ranking shows that our strategy is working and that we continue to grow in an immensely difficult economic climate.
“Growth in such a challenging time and the entrenchment of DStv as a brand that is held in high esteem by South Africans can be attributed to the dedication employees have in seeing the brand soaring to new heights as well as the work that is put in daily.”
Experience, Function, Convenience and Exposure are the four brand-building fundamentals that drive consumer demand, according to Kantar.
Ivan Moroke, CEO of Kantar South Africa, said: “Three major factors are currently contributing to brand growth in South Africa: getting the fundamentals right, solving the value equation, and building a unique differentiation.
“The report highlights how value goes beyond the price point; money is not the only currency in the value equation. Given our hectic lives and often lengthy commutes on public transport, South Africans increasingly value things like trust and convenience.”
Musical reality show Nigerian Idol has revealed the top 11 contestants who will compete for a chance to win this year’s sixth season.
The top contestants out of 68 chosen by judges Seyi Shay, DJ Sose and Obi Asika are: Faith Mark, Akunna Okey, Daniel Ikechi, Dotun Deloye, Clinton Francis, Emmanuel Elijah, Comfort Alalade, Faith Jason, Beyonce Ajomiwe, Kingdom Kroseide and Faith Onyeje.
Announcing the news on Instagram, MultiChoice-owned TV platform DStv said: “Your TV screen is about to be lit! Meet your Nigerian Idol top 11. Who will you vote for?”
The show is sponsored by Bigi Drinks and Tecno Mobile and will launch on May 9 on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv channel 151), Africa Magic Urban (DStv channel 153) and Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154 & GOtv channel 2) from 19.00.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has unveiled plans for more pop-up TV channels this year, which will be available to more subscribers to pay platform DStv on lower-tier packages.
This initiative was revealed at a virtual MultiChoice media showcase, during which the company also discussed its upcoming content slate, sports coverage, technological advances and upcoming changes to its business.
The new pop-up channels are Fast & the Furious and AfroCinema. The latter will air on channel 198 from May 21 to 30 as a festival of African film to celebrate Africa Day (May 25).
Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice’s head of content and third-party channels, said: “The past year came with many challenges and, in a time of physical distance where the world felt a little bit smaller for everyone, it was a privilege to make things a little brighter by bringing the world’s best content home.
“In some ways, it has reignited our passion not only as a broadcaster that connects people and stories, but as a curator of an unsurpassed viewing experience. No matter where you are or what you’re into, as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, we’re lighting up the screens with serious star power and entertainment that shines above the rest.
“This year we’re doing pop-up channels like never before, with more of them but also more accessibility to DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and even DStv Family subscribers.”
Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport will remove one of its two SuperSport WWE wrestling channels from the DStv platform at the end of this month.
DStv channel 128 will remain the sole channel dedicated to WWE while DStv channel 236 will be axed. The move comes eight months after the channel was launched when SuperSport rejigged its sport channels line-up on DStv.
Last August, SuperSport said that the replication of the WWE channel on channel 128 and 236 was to bring it into the fold as part of the block of SuperSport channels.
SuperSport spokesman Clinton van den Berg told South African blogger TV with Thinus: “The two channels are exactly the same and as such were only splitting audiences and causing confusion. We opted to retain channel 128 as it’s the original channel number assigned to WWE.”
An on-screen message on the DStv electronic programme guide states: “The SuperSport WWE channel on channel 236 will be consolidated from 2 channels (128 and 236) to one (128) on 1 May 2021. Channel 236 will no longer be available from 30 April 2021 and you can continue to catch all your WWE superstars and content on channel 128.”
Pay TV group MultiChoice and telecoms company Airtel Uganda have collaborated to offer tailored data bundles to DStv subscribers to enable them to access TV programming on their smartphones via the Airtel network.
Amit Kapur, chief commercial officer at Airtel Uganda, said that it was perfect timing to release this product considering the evolution of smartphones.
“Airtel Uganda continues to increase convenience and diversity by constantly introducing innovative products that simplify communications through strategic partnerships like this,” said Kapur.
Colin Asiimwe, head of marketing at Multichoice Uganda, added that the DStv ‘smart bundles’ will further improve customers’ viewing experiences by enabling them to enjoy the DStv app, stream live TV and catch up on premium movies, series and sports without having to be in front of the traditional TV.
“Multichoice remains committed to delivering the best video entertainment experience in Uganda through enhancing customer experience. The partnership with Airtel Uganda is a step in the right direction to ensure customer satisfaction,” he added.
Free-to-air satellite television service PremiumFree TV from international channels operator AfricaXP will launch in South Africa on May 1.
The new service will feature a bouquet of 18 TV channels, including BongoTV (focusing on Swahili movies), True African Channel (African blockbusters), Fresh (reality shows), Limelight (family and action movies), Romanza+ Africa (telenovelas) and LOL Africa (comedy).
Also in the bouquet are Sports Connect, Kiddiwinks, Pulse, Riverwood (Kenyan movies), RPM (motor sports channel), LifeTV (crime and investigation), DIVA (entertainment), Gospellife, Fight Night (martial arts and boxing) and Synapse (e-gaming).
Viewers can access the channels through Openview decoders, MultiChoice’s DStv decoders and universal free-to-air set-top decoders using a satellite dish.
In late 2018, AfricaXP launched PremiumFree TV in Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa with 13 TV channels as a freely available satellite TV offering. The company is bringing its multichannel bouquet to sub-Saharan Africa two-and-a-half years later after acquiring space on Intelsat’s IS20 satellite.
AfricaXP CEO Craig Kelly told SA blog TV With Thinus: “Broadcasting unencrypted not only means that the service can be offered free of charge, it also means that the channels can be instantly received on dishes and decoders already owned, installed and connected. It’s all about instant reach for us and with no extra equipment or cost for the viewer.
“After years of stagnation in the African TV market, characterised by the regular failure of new pay TV initiatives, Intelsat’s decision to seek out AfricaXP as a partner and allocate one of the few available transponders on IS20 to PremiumFree TV is a clear vote of confidence in the PremiumFree TV project. Intelsat has a clear conviction that multichannel free-to-air TV delivered over satellite has a big role to play in the future of the African TV market.”
Intelsat senior account director Christelle Meyer added: “Many countries dealing with economic disparity or smaller populations struggle with making fibre and mobile broadband work as a universal media distribution technology. Satellite will play a vital role in delivering rich media content to all corners of the continent well into the future.”
Meyer said that since January 7 PremiumFree TV has been transmitting a pilot channel on the IS20 transponder with at least 18 TV channels in a bouquet that will be tested from April and PremiumFree TV will officially launch on May 1.
“It’s exciting to be able to offer a compelling multichannel bouquet to such a large and underserved market. Free-to-air TV is critical in stimulating the market by offering value to a segment that can’t afford to pay regularly for premium content, if at all,” Meyer added.
“A strong media industry is symbiotic for the whole ecosystem. Strong free-to-air drives penetration of TV sets, stimulate content development and grows viewing habits which in turn attracts advertisers. We hope to make our contribution to stimulating activity to the benefit for all players.”
Pay TV channel MNet has bagged the African broadcasting rights to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan’s exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The two-hour interview, titled CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan & Harry, will air in Africa on March 8 on Mnet, DStv channel 101, at 19.30, according to South African blog TV With Thinus.
In the show, Oscar winner Winfrey discusses a range of topics with Meghan including life as a royal, philanthropic work, marriage and handling pressure. Harry will also speak about their move to the US, future plans and dreams.
CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan & Harry is produced by Harpo Productions, executive produced by Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery as well as Brian Piotrowicz, co-executive producer.
MultiChoice-owned African pay TV operator DStv is gearing up to debut a new pop-up Korean channel called tvN Africa.
The new channel will air on DStv 134 from March 1 for four months with new programming every weekday at 18.45. It will feature music variety shows like I-Land, Korean dramas including Encounter, romantic series and action dramas such as Signal.
Michael Jung, MD of tvN owner CJ ENM Hong Kong, said: “It is evident Hallyu fever is on the rise in Africa. We are thrilled to partner with MultiChoice, the leading pay TV provider in Africa, to be the first Korean entertainment brand to launch on DStv. We will do our best to bring all premium Korean entertainment to the fans.”
Yolisa Phahle, Multichoice Group’s CEO of general entertainment and connected video, said: “Delivering the tvN channel to millions of viewers on our continent is part of DStv’s commitment to bring the best of the world home.
“DStv customers can now explore South Korean lifestyle through tvN’s dynamic entertainment offering. Through the quality of its rich stories the channel broadens the already extensive range of viewing options we have on DStv for a variety of audiences.”
The new channel will be available to DStv Premium, Compact and Compact Plus customers.