Tag Archives: ITV

Idols SA returns for season 18

Idols SA judges

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.

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Amazon Studios gathers Ajayi’s Riches

Amazon Studios has boarded the previously announced drama series Riches from London-based prodco Greenacre Films and UK commercial broadcaster ITV, starring British-Nigerian actress Deborah Ayorinde.

Deborah Ayorinde

The six-part drama will premiere on ITV in the UK, while Amazon’s Prime Video will carry the series in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Nordics and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project, created and written by Abby Ajayi (How to Get Away With Murder), recently went into production in London after receiving a green light last year. It was commissioned by Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV.

Riches follows the exploits of a brash, successful and wealthy family and stars Ayorinde (Them, Truth Be Told) as the estranged daughter of a self-made millionaire played by Ghanaian-born British actor Hugh Quarshie. Sarah Niles, Brendan Coyle and Hermione Norris also star.

Hugh Quarshie

The series is produced by Greenacre Films in association with Monumental Television, with Amazon Studios credited as coproducing in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Nordics and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks are executive producers for Greenacre Films, with Alison Owen and Alison Carpenter exec producing for ITV-backed Monumental Television. Directors on the project are Sebastian Thiel, Darcia Martin and Ajayi, a British screenwriter of Nigerian heritage.

Banijay Rights is handling international distribution on behalf of Greenacre Films. The companies have had a first-look distribution deal since 2019.

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BritBox lines up SA launch date

Ex-BBC director general Tony Hall and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall announce BritBox

BritBox, the joint-venture SVoD service from ITV and the BBC, will launch in South Africa on August 6 after reaching two million subscriptions outside of the UK.

BritBox’s debut in South Africa will mark its fifth territory, following launches in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

BritBox has experienced an 18% rise in subscriptions to two million in the US, Canada and Australia, while in the UK the platform now has around 555,000 subscriptions, marking a 10% increase on this time last year.

BritBox debuted in North America in March 2017 and announced it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers in October 2020. It launched in the UK in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.

Last year BritBox announced a global roll-out that would take the service into 25 new territories, bringing audiences a collection of UK shows and box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.

The subscription stats were released as part of ITV’s interim financial results today, with the broadcaster also revealing growth in subscriptions to its domestic SVoD service ITV Hub+, which offers its content on-demand without advertising. Subscriber numbers rose in the first half of 2021 to 452,000, a 10% increase on the first half of 2020.

Elsewhere in its results, ITV reported 26% growth in total group revenue year-on-year to £1.83bn (US$2.54bn) from £1.45bn, boosted by a 29% increase in advertising revenue to £866m from £671m and a 26% rise in revenue at production/distribution arm ITV Studios to £798m from £632m.

ITV said growth in its studios business was helped by the fact a “substantial majority” of programmes were back in production following delays caused by the pandemic. It also said it benefited from a number of programmes and licences being delivered earlier than expected. ITV Studios’ external revenue was up 31% at £523m.

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BritBox to launch in South Africa

BritBox, the joint-venture streaming service from BBC Studios and UK commercial broadcaster ITV, will launch in South Africa in the second half of 2021.

Paul Dempsey

The territory will be the ad-free SVoD service’s fifth worldwide, following launches in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

Last year BritBox announced a global roll-out that would take the service into 25 new territories, bringing audiences a collection of UK shows and box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.

Both ITV and the BBC have an existing relationship with TV audiences in South Africa, where they used to operate linear channels ITV Choice and BBC First respectively. The launch of BritBox will enable consumers to retain access to UK content following the recent closure of both TV channels.

BritBox debuted in North America in March 2017 and announced it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers in October 2020. It launched in the UK in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.

Martin Goswami

BritBox operates as a 50/50 JV between BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the UK pubcaster, and ITV.

Martin Goswami, group strategic partnership and distribution director at ITV, said: “The launch of BritBox in South Africa is yet another step in the platform’s trajectory towards international expansion. We’re delighted to bring the service to a brand new territory and continue towards establishing BritBox as a premium VoD brand across the world.”

Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution at BBC Studios, said, “We know that South African audiences have a real connection to British television and we can’t wait to bring them even more great shows, on demand, that we know they will love.”

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NBC fines nets for code breaches

Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has issued fines to two TV stations, ITV in Jalingo and IBC (Orient TV) in Owerri, for breaching the country’s broadcasting code.

Maimuna Jimada

The channels were fined N100,000 and N50,000, respectively.

NBC’s head of public affairs Maimuna Jimada said the stations were being penalised for their breach of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and for airing programmes that feature vulgar lyrics, hate speech and unverifiable claims.

According to Jimada, all of these breaches were committed in the third quarter of 2017. Poor training of staff and editors was partly to blame for these breaches of ethics and the broadcast code, the NBC exec added.

Many staff at the stations are either untrained or undertrained and don’t know which words, videos and claims are off-limits for broadcast, leading to uncensored music videos, talkshows and movies that breach the broadcasting code.

Part of NBC’s duty is to organise regular training and refresher courses for staff at TV stations.

Speaking at a press conference, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “The nation looks up to the NBC to restore sanity to the broadcasting industry. The Commission cannot afford to do any less at this critical time. It cannot afford to fail the nation.”

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