Lagos-based broadcasting company TVC Communications has announced a collaboration with the BBC World Service, bringing UK news content to the Nigerian channel.
The partnership will see TVC and its 24/7 news channel TVC News airing 368 hours of Africa-themed content from the BBC’s news and current affairs teams over the next two years.
Programmes covered by the deal include BBC Sports Africa and the recently launched Africa Eye. The TVC channels will also broadcast other BBC content such as health programmes, children’s content and business analysis.
Andrew Hanlon, CEO and MD of TVC, said: “I am delighted to announce this landmark deal with BBC News, which forms part of a major ongoing investment in our TV and radio business with the aim of dramatically enhancing services to audiences and advertisers alike.
“TVC Communications is undergoing substantial, positive change, which is now delivering benefits to all stakeholders. This collaboration, with one of the world’s most respected content producers, provides further proof of that change.”
Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with TVC Communications. This deal will see more people in Nigeria getting access to brilliant BBC News content. The World Service delivers accurate, impartial and independent journalism to all countries. We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of the world.”
BBC World Service delivers content to an audience of over 36 million. It recently added two Nigerian-language services, Yoruba and Igbo, to its World Service in addition to the existing Hausa and Pidgin services.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) officially opened its Lagos bureau office yesterday.
The move follows the recent launch of the BBC’s local-language services in Yoruba and Igbo. The Lagos bureau will be home to these plus its other language service, BBC Pidgin.
The opening of the Lagos office makes this the biggest expansion of the BBC World Service since its first language service, Hausa, was established 60 years ago. According to the corporation, the Lagos bureau will be the headquarters of its West African service.
Speaking at the launch, Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service Group, said: “It is wonderful to be here to open this bureau, which will be the headquarters for our operations across West Africa. It will be a beacon for journalism and as such I am delighted to announce our mentorship and internship scheme for up-and-coming journalists.
“Meanwhile, our Hausa service continues to deliver with an audience of over 36 million. We have vision to ensure the World Service generates accurate, impartial and independent news to all countries. We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of your world. Our mission is to remain your most trusted source of news in the years to come.”
Furthermore, he said the mentorship and internship programme is part of the BBC’s contribution to the growth of media practice and professionalism in Nigeria, and helps aid the fight against fake news.
Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, BBC’s head of West Africa, said: “It’s a great honour to be part of this expansion, and I’m so proud to be leading the teams in Nigeria.
“We will be big on original journalism that impacts the lives of Nigerians at home and abroad. We are expanding our editorial offer to cover politics, culture, business, health and investigations, among others. We will focus more on young people and women, ensuring we cover Nigeria and the whole of West Africa like never before. We’ll remain true to our ideals and values of objectivity, truth and impartiality.”
With over 200 people working at the bureau, the BBC West African headquarters has two radio stations and a TV station, with state-of-the-art equipment.
Chimezie UcheAgbo, broadcast journalist at BBC Igbo, explained to Content Nigeria why the three local-language services – Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin – are launching 60 years after BBC Hausa.
“Getting a licence for a foreign terrestrial radio or TV station is a bit difficult. BBC Hausa is on the AM radio frequency; it doesn’t have a Nigerian frequency,” said UcheAgbo.
“However, the BBC is collaborating with TV stations like Channels TV to get its TV content out there. We work with partner stations, so we produce content and give to them to broadcast. Some of these stations include Odenigbo FM, Bliss FM and ASPS.”
The BBC is partnering with Channels Television to launch Connect Africa, a new weekly half-hour programme, later this year. Connect Africa is a current affairs series that will focus on the stories behind the news and the public reactions.
The BBC also plans to launch more TV programmes in Africa in English, Hausa, French and Swahili. According to the corporation, some of the TV teams will join the Lagos bureau to create content.
The guests at the event included John Momoh, Garba Shehu, Wole Soyinka, Okey Bakkasi, Don Jazzy, Tosyn Bucknor, Bolanle Olukanni, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Steve Babaeko, Frank Donga and Julius Agwu.
BBC Africa is planning full coverage of the Nigerian general elections taking place next month with new TV and radio programmes set to air on stations across the country.
The coverage, including interviews with commentators and politicians, will be aired in various languages, such as the BBC News services in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Pidgin.
A statement published on the BBC Media Centre reads: “As Nigeria prepares to hold elections on February 16, BBC Africa will be offering comprehensive coverage for our local and international audiences across radio, TV, online and social media.
“During the campaign period there will be special programming across all BBC Africa’s 12 language services, including English and French as well as Nigeria-based BBC News Yoruba, BBC News Hausa, BBC News Igbo and BBC News Pidgin.”
The TV programmes include #TheSheWord, a women-in-politics discussion programme, and Fact Finder, a show that aims to verify the facts about claims made during the election campaign.
Meanwhile, TheGist, produced in partnership by Channels TV and the BBC World Service Group, aims to help Nigerian audiences understand the news better.
Jamie Angus, deputy director of the World Service Group, said: “We wanted to make a weekly programme in partnership with a trusted partner and Channels TV is the right partner; they have great coverage.
“The weekly half-hour show will help people understand issues behind the news. It is going to have a mixture of international news and is strictly for Nigerians.”
The BBC’s head of West Africa languages, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, said: “We are prepared to deliver memorable coverage of what is set to be the most competitive election in Nigeria, and even across Africa.
“Our audiences across the continent and around the world can now keep up to date with the action in 12 languages including English, Hausa and the newly launched Igbo, Pidgin and Yoruba languages.
“We will bring key interviews from politicians, commentators and viewpoints from voters on the ground. From every state, whatever the issue, BBC Africa will be there.”
BBC Africa has also revealed that more than 50 reporters will be on the ground to cover the elections.
UK public broadcaster the BBC has said Nigeria is the biggest market for its World Service (BBCWS) offering.
According to the recently released Global Audience Measure (GAM), the corporation reaches a weekly audience of 376 million, up three million since last year, across all its services outside the UK.
The BBCWS has seen its weekly non-UK audience rise 10 million to 279 million since 2017, while the weekly non-UK audience for BBC News rose a million to 347 million over the same period.
The report shows how many adults the BBC’s international services have reached in the first half of 2018 compared with 2017. It also said that with the growing number of cheaper smartphones, the BBC has been able to expand viewership via its digital platforms, as a total of 27 million people opt for the BBCWS English service via the internet.
Nigeria was revealed to be the largest market for the BBC’s international news services, consuming the most of the BBC’s content with an audience of 41 million. The US comes a close second with 33 million users. After that is India (30 million), Bangladesh (16 million), Egypt (16 million), Iran (13 million), Afghanistan (12 million), Tanzania (10 million), Pakistan (nine million) and Indonesia (eight million). BBCWS’s audience is aged between 15 and 24.
GAM statistics also revealed that just under 40% of the adult population of Nigeria consumes BBC News in some way.
Jamie Angus, director of the BBCWS Group, said: “This has been an exciting year for the BBC World Service, with the launch of 12 new services, new programming and the opening of new and expanded bureaux across the world. So it is great to see international audiences continuing to turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.
“The figures highlight not only the successes of our global news operation, but the challenges that lie ahead for us. We still need to grow the share of women engaging with our news services globally, and we need to ensure we have the right services to continue to attract young audiences.
“At a time when Britain is forging a new relationship with nations around the world, the BBC’s global news services are more important than ever.”