Tag Archives: MultiChoice Africa

DStv Media Sales expands portfolio

DStv Media Sales, the sales arm of pay TV group MultiChoice Africa, has expanded its Discovery Network commercial portfolio from three channels to all eight of Discovery’s networks.

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee

The move also means DStv Media Sales will now represent all Discovery channels as the media house of choice and will handle all ad sales bookings across the channels.

The channels are HGTV (channel 177), Food Network (175) and Travel Channel (179) in addition to the newly added channels Discovery (121),70 TLC (172), ID (171), Discovery Family (136) and Real Time (155).

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, CEO of DStv Media Sales, said: “We are excited about the opportunity this presents for our business. The addition of more channels offers us bigger audiences and the ability to aggregate more commercial opportunities for the market. This is in line with our strategy of simplifying the media buy for the market.”

Piwe Motshegoa, head of sales, general entertainment, at DStv Media Sales, added: “We are looking forward to creating tactical opportunities for clients wanting to be a part of all the great content across the Discovery portfolio of channels.”

The expanded deal will come into effect on September 1.

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Reyka to premiere at Monte-Carlo

Serial killer thriller Reyka

South African crime drama Reyka will premiere at the 60th edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

The 8×60’ series is from Serena Cullen Productions and Quizzical Pictures for M-Net, MultiChoice Africa Group’s flagship channel, with global distribution handled by Fremantle.

It is directed by Zwelesizwe Ntuli and stars Kim Engelbrecht (The Flash), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Thando Thabethe (Housekeepers).

Rohan Dickson, the only South African nominated for a Palm d’Or in screenwriting, for his film Husk, is the screenwriter and showrunner. UK-based Jake Riddell (Death in Paradise, Suspects) joins Dickson as story consultant and writer.

Reyka follows the story of a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler who is haunted by her past. She returns to her home town to solve a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer among the sugarcane fields of Kwa-Zulu-Natal.

Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, which this year takes place from June 18 to 22, said: “It is my greatest pleasure to open this 60th anniversary with the series Reyka. Beginning the festival with a South African production has a very special touch, especially in light of the close ties that exist between South Africa and the Principality of Monaco. This dynamic drama looks set to be a global hit and we’re thrilled to be able to kick off our festival with this worldwide launch.”

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MultiChoice Africa cuts DStv fees

Pay TV operator MultiChoice Africa is set to reduce its DStv subscription fees across East Africa.

The monthly fees paid by DStv subscribers in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania will fall from September 1.

According to a MultiChoice representative, the reduction in fees will differ between countries due to the different cost structures, which are influenced by local factors such as content costs, inflation, local taxes, foreign exchange rates and overheads.

MultiChoice Kenya said in a statement: “The subscription price reductions are aimed at making entertaining TV viewing accessible to more subscribers in Kenya and grant more customers access to the entire world of exciting channels at a lower fee.”

The broadcaster has not yet revealed if it will be reducing subs in other parts of Africa.

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MultiChoice initiative partners NY academy

MultiChoice Africa’s flagship initiative the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) has partnered with a renowned US visual and performing arts school, the New York Film Academy (NYFA).

Cheryl Uys-Allie

The aim of the collaboration is to support the development of young filmmakers who are attending MTF academies across Africa.

The MTF’s mission is to ignite Africa’s already established creative industries through training and skills development. It has already begun its masterclasses in various African cities with the aim of upskilling film and TV creatives in cinematography, audio and storytelling to improve the quality of local productions.

Cheryl Uys-Allie, MTF’s director, said: “This groundbreaking collaboration speaks to our commitment to partnering with industry experts such as the NYFA to promote and protect the growth of Africa’s creative industries,

“Our East Africa academy director, Njoki Muhoho, is an NYFA alumnus, having studied filmmaking at the Los Angeles campus, and we’re excited to be collaborating with the Academy in being able to offer incredible opportunities to our students and the sector as a whole.”

The NYFA, which has supported African content creators for more than a decade, is committed to empowering and developing filmmakers across the world and through this partnership, MultiChoice says it continues its commitment to enrich lives by igniting the creative industry on the continent.

Jim Miller, VP of the NYFA, said: “The New York Film Academy is honoured to be a part of the enrichment, development and fostering of storytellers across Africa, a continent steeped in a rich history of dynamic, creative and passionate visual and performing artists.

“Over the years, NYFA has been privileged to have hosted hundreds of students – from dozens of African nations – many who have found outstanding success in their national industries when they returned home. This MTF and NYFA collaboration is a natural extension of our commitment to help bolster the skills of talented African storytellers.”

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MTF alumni attend NYFA workshop

Three MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) alumni have travelled to the US to attend the New York Film Academy (NYFA) workshop.

Mainala Silondwa (Zambia), Gilbert Bassey (Nigeria) and Hillary ‘Hillax’ Lanogwa (Kenya) emerged from the MTF’s three campuses in west, east and southern Africa and were selected as top of their classes for the prestigious full-tuition scholarship award.

Silondwa and Lanogwa, who are part of the inaugural MTF cohort, have been given a lifetime’s opportunity to participate in the NYFA eight-week filmmaking workshop whilst Gilbert will start the programme at a later date.

Silondwa, director and screenwriter, co-wrote the screenplay for student film The Painting, cinematographer Lanogwa was the camera operator on student films Ensulo and Promises, while Bassey, a producer, director and editor, was the assistant director on student film Dreamchaser.

Expanding on MTF’s mission to empower emerging filmmakers through training, skills and creative development, they will be trained on the craft of filmmaking in an intensive environment and also challenged to produce five films within two months.

Each student will write, direct and edit a final film, which will be showcased at a screening in New York, and a NYFA certificate and digital master copy of their projects will be given to students who complete the workshop.

Jim Miller, VP at NYFA, said: “All of us at the Academy are extremely proud to have MTF Academy’s special award alumni Mainala Silondwa, Hillary Lanogwa and Gilbert Bassey join us for their eight-week filmmaking workshops at NYFA’s New York City campus. These astonishingly talented filmmakers – who each have the passion and commitment to become creative professionals – will certainly excel in our programmes, which will immerse them in NYFA’s philosophy of hands-on intensive learning.”

Reatile Tekateka, executive head of corporate affairs at MultiChoice Africa, said: “Through strategic partnerships with widely acclaimed institutions such as the NYFA, Africa’s creative industries are enriched through skills sharing and exposure to global best practice. We’re excited for our alumni and we hope that this opportunity will empower them to tell authentic African stories to a global audience.”

Bassey said: “It’s the first time that I will travelling out of Nigeria, and it is to do something that I love. I look forward to what this will bring to my career – it’s undoubtedly a big step on the path to mastery. Being a part of MTF was a solid experience, so this, I believe, will build on that. I’m looking forward to learning more about production and the business of filmmaking, such as using the little that we have to push us forward.”

The NYFA, which currently partners with MultiChoice Africa, has supported African content creators across the continent by hosting workshops with the intention of continuing its efforts to fortify film development internationally.

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Date set for MultiChoice JSE listing

Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world, will list it’s pay TV unit MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on February 27.

Bob van Dijk

The company includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa and Showmax. Naspers originally announced its intention to list last September.

The move means Naspers shareholders will now hold a direct interest in MultiChoice rather than through Africa’s most valuable company.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered, top-40-JSE-listed African entertainment company.

“With strong financials, the flexibility of an ungeared balance sheet and deep local knowledge, we hope to deliver excellent returns to shareholders over time,” added group CEO Calvo Mawela.

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MultiChoice academy gets 3,000 applicants

MultiChoice Africa has received more than 3,000 applications from across the continent for its Talent Factory training academy.

Femi Odugbemi

Candidate interviews and screenings are now underway as judges select 60 people to join the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).

Successful candidates will be given the opportunity to hone their skills in television and film production as they undergo training at the MTF academy in Lagos. Classes will begin on October 1.

Highlighting the importance of the academy, filmmaker and MTF West Africa director Femi Odugbemi said: “The next generation must understand that, as filmmakers, they are the historians of the modern age.”

Femi, who is also among the judges, added :“We have got to have great filmmakers who are willing to take on big themes and unearth untold stories, and all of that requires us to be deliberate about how we mentor the next generation. We have to be very deliberate that the next generation will not tell stories uneducated.”


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MultiChoice drops Disney’s Andi

The new season of Disney live-action series Andi Mack introduces a gay character

Pay TV platform MultiChoice Africa has axed a Disney children’s show ahead of the planned introduction of a gay character, reports Gabriella Opara.

Following an announcement from Disney that its live-action series Andi Mack will introduce a gay character in its newly premiered season, MultiChoice Africa, which operates the DStv and GOtv platforms, said it will no longer air the show.

With broadcasters – in this case, Disney Channel – often providing only one satellite feed into Africa, a ban of a show in one country means it is taken off-air across the entire continent, even in countries where the content is not censored.

The move comes after Kenyan media regulators banned the series and follows the prohibition in Nigeria of reality shows I Am Cait and I Am Jazz on the E! channel of DStv Africa for including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) characters.

With anything that is seen to promote LGBTI a breach of Nigeria’s national broadcasting code, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it is ensuring that any programme on air clearly complies with its code of ethics.

Disney has promised African fans of Andi Mack that it will find alternative ways of broadcasting the show while still respecting each market’s cultural sensibilities and adhering to its rules and regulations.

The US media giant said in a statement: “While our shows are developed for global audiences we are committed to respecting each market’s cultural sensibilities, compliance rules and regulations.

“Disney Channel in South Africa serves multiple countries across Africa and the Middle East, each with its own regulations to which we adhere. Accordingly, Andi Mack will not be broadcast through DStv.”

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GOtv offers low-cost DTT package

Nigerian pay TV platform GOtv has launched GOtv Lite, a low-cost subscription package within its digital terrestrial TV (DTT) service, reports Gabriella Opara.

Understanding that subscribers’ needs are not all the same and their economy differs, GOtv parent company MultiChoice Africa is hoping to ensure that the DTT service is accessible to all families.

GOtv Lite achieves this by offering a pared-down version of the GOtv package. Offering 23 channels at affordable rates – N400 monthly, N1,050 quarterly and N3,100 annually – GOtv subscribers can now enjoy more for less, said the company.

Included in the GOtv Lite package are TVC Entertainment, SuperSport Blitz, Galaxy TV, JimJam and eTV Africa, as well as local stations.

The pay TV platform is also running a new package known as GOtv Max for N3,800 per month. This currently offers 60 channels, including Sony Max, Fox, CBS and SuperSport Select 4. Catering to its football-loving viewers, GOtv Max offers access to all live La Liga matches.

Furthermore, GOtv Wawu was launched on October 24, giving subscribers customised offerings and complementary access to selected channels as well as rewards points.

The climax of GOtv’s recent marketing moves was on October 26, when it brought the European Premier League trophy to Lagos. On October 29, Nigerians were able to see, touch and take selfies with the trophy, courtesy of GOtv.

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