US factual network HGTV has commissioned home-renovation series Renovation Wild, its first series based in Africa.
The Warner Bros Discovery-owned network has ordered eight episodes of the show, which follows safari camp owners Grant and Lynsey Cummings and their kids as they navigate the challenges of remodelling dilapidated lodges on their remote property in Zambia.
The project is produced by Remedy Television + Branded and is scheduled to launch on HGTV in summer 2023.
“Home renovation fans have never seen a construction site quite like the one in Renovation Wild,” said Loren Ruch, group senior VP of programming and development at HGTV.
“Despite setbacks and extreme supply-chain issues, which are much more challenging in a faraway location, Grant and Lynsey are determined to beautifully transform the camp and welcome visitors to this incredible place.”
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has placed 23 television stations under investigation for allegedly airing content that violates the East African country’s copyright laws.
The TV stations include UBC Star TV, NBS TV, U24TV, Magic1 HD TV, Excel TV, GMTV, Fresh TV, Nyce TV, HGTV, GTV, Top TV, Ndejje TV, BBS TV, Kingdom TV, UBC TV, Baba TV, BTM TV, Tagy TV, Family TV, KS TV, See TV, Spirit TV and STV.
The commission had written to the stations demanding they immediately cease broadcasting programmes or content for which they have not acquired the necessary authorisation or rights.
A letter to the stations signed by acting UCC executive director Susan Wegoye reads: “Please note that Section 46 of the Copyrights & Neighbouring Rights Act of 2006 strictly prohibits broadcasters from exhibiting copyrighted material to the public for commercial purposes by way of broadcast, public performance or otherwise without a valid transfer, licence, assignment or authorisation.”
According to the Uganda Communications Act of 2013, all broadcast programmes must comply with relevant laws and regulations, including the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulations 2019, which requires all broadcasters to comply with the Copyrights & Neighbouring Rights Act of 2006 and the Industrial Property Act of 2014.
Wegoye went on to say that adherence to the law is further stipulated in the licence agreement that was signed between the 23 stations and the UCC, which requires every station to maintain records of rights obtained for programming that they broadcast.
The UCC added that 84 programmes previously aired by the TV stations had been reported for alleged copyright infringement – most of them foreign movies – and the stations have been directed to respond to the complaints in writing as well as provide proof and evidence of acquisition of copyrights and broadcasting rights to the content.
New York-based media giant Discovery has appointed Clare O’Neil as commercial director for the company in Africa.
Discovery has worked in Africa for 25 years and is a leading global content provider of factual entertainment with eight channels: Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, ID, Discovery Family, Travel Channel and Real Time.
O’Neil, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the media and broadcasting industry, will be driving commercial growth for the company’s eight TV brands in the region.
Based in Johannesburg, she will be part of a larger contingent team in the Dubai office led by Amanda Turnbull, Discovery’s general manager for Middle East and Africa.
She started her career at the Argus Group and fulfilled multiple roles at M-Net, served as the commercial sales director at e.TV, general manager of television sales and non-executive director at the SABC and was CEO of The Broadcast Research Council from 2015 to 2018.
O’Neil said: “I have an unflagging passion and tested dedication to the media and broadcasting industry and I am extremely excited to embark on this new journey with Discovery. A big part of my role will be to focus on new advertising avenues and to ensure that our partners tap into our dynamic brand through the opportunities that exist across the eight channel verticals.”
Turnbull said: “We are investing in local expertise with this appointment and view it as a firm statement of intent and commitment and an important step forward in bringing the right balance between local and global, while unlocking opportunities beyond the traditional broadcast scope.
“With the addition of Clare, our Johannesburg team brings deep broadcasting and media expertise and I look forward to extending our business footprint within Africa through valuable partnerships in the free-to-air and digital space via collaboration and aggregation.
“This could mean using a broadcaster’s expertise and heritage or building an audience in a new area by collaborating with a partner and using their platform to bring content to life and package it in new and creative ways.”
MultiChoice is adding US network HGTV channel to its pay TV service, DStv, via a deal with media giant Discovery.
HGTV offers programmes about gardening, real estate and home improvement.
In 2017, MultiChoice experimented with a three-week trial run of HGTV on DStv’s Travel channel, which was well received by subscribers.
At present, HGTV is available in the US, Asia, Canada, Australia, with a South African roll-out due on July 15.
Henry Windridge, head of brand for Africa and the Middle East at Discovery, said: “Discovery is thrilled that MultiChoice has decided to add HGTV to its DStv platform. Viewers will find that there is a lot more to HGTV than just shows about decorating. Discovery is excited about the content HGTV will be offering on DStv.”
Launches of HGTV in other African countries have not yet been revealed.