MultiChoice-owned pay TV operator DStv will carry a pan-African lifestyle channel named Honey from February 12.
The launch of the new TV channel is part of MultiChoice’s efforts to offer content that celebrates and explores African lives by focusing on lifestyle, fashion, food, weddings, dating and reality.
The channel will be broadcast in all key African markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, DRC, Cameroon and South Africa.
The channel is operated by South African print media company Media24’s television unit, which is also responsible for Afrikaans lifestyle channel VIA. Like MultiChoice, Media24 is backed by South African internet group Naspers. Honey will air on DStv channel 173.
MultiChoice Nigeria’s CEO John Ugbe said: “DStv is thrilled to launch Honey. The channel is part of our commitment to keep bringing fresh, authentic, and local content to our Nigerian subscribers. For many years, we’ve seen lifestyle is a popular genre in the country; and now our subscribers will see their own talent, food, celebrations and their families as the well-deserved hero.”
Nigerian drama series Tinsel, which began airing in August 2008, reached its 3,000th episode on January 21 on AM Showcase (DStv channel 151).
The show, which has provided both a launchpad for many of Africa’s best-known faces on television and a rebirth for some veterans, will feature a guest appearance by prominent Nigerian comedian Ayo Makun.
It has also reimagined African soap opera, drawing audiences in with its intriguing storyline, which speaks to love, influence and scandal set against the backdrop of the Nigerian film industry.
M-Net West Africa channel director Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “Our local content story cannot be complete without a mention of our flagship soap opera, Tinsel.
“We are indeed happy to hit the 3,000th episode mark of this stellar series. At MultiChoice, we remain committed to growing and promoting local content and talent as we continue to expand the boundaries of African film and television production.
“Tinsel owes its longevity to its amazing cast, stellar directing, multifaceted storyline and high production values.”
Over the years, Tinsel has featured actors including Gideon Okeke, Gbenro Ajibade, Damilola Adegbite, Chris Attoh, Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman, Iretiola Doyle, Victor Olaotan, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi and Yul Edochie.
The drama series won an Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for the best M-Net original drama series in 2017.
MultiChoice-owned VoD service Showmax has added two pop-up channels that will be available until the end of March.
The addition of kykNET and Mzansi Magic will give Showmax users who don’t have access to the two DStv channels the ability to view them 24 hours a day.
MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video Yolisa Phahle said: “We’re always looking at ways of making the Showmax experience better for our customers.
“During last year’s lockdown, we gave subscribers access to live news channels. Now, following this month’s presidential address, South Africans will continue to spend more time at home, and so, once again, we’d like to make sure our customers have something extra.”
While Mzansi Magic is exclusive to South Africa, kykNET will be available to subscribers in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The live streams will be available on all Showmax packages including Showmax, Showmax Mobile, Showmax Pro and Showmax Pro Mobile.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice and its flagship channel M-Net have collaborated to create a new version of US reality franchise Real Housewives set in Durban.
The Real Housewives of Durban, based on the NBCUniversal format which originally airing on US cable channel Bravo, is set to debut on 1Magic DStv channel 103 on January 29.
The 14-episode series is produced by Let It Rain Films and will show viewers a glimpse into the glamorous lives of some of Durban’s wealthy ladies who engage in lavish consumption, extravagant lifestyles and dramatic relationships.
Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: “Reality TV has become our most followed genre, not only because it gives viewers authenticity and entertainment, but resonates with their lived experiences as it gives them a glance into a world in which they aspire to live one day.”
The Real Housewives of Durban is coming on the heels of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, which ran on MultiChoice channels for two seasons from August 2018.
Music reality show Nigerian Idol, the local version of the internationally successful talent show format from Fremantle, will return for a sixth season following five years off air.
The series will air via MultiChoice Nigeria, whose CEO, John Ugbe, said: “Nigeria is at the heart of music excellence and we are excited to announce that Nigerian Idol is officially back, starting with the online auditions.
“For us at MultiChoice, it has always been about talent development and giving our subscribers superior content that they can relate to and engage with. Idols is one show with a track record of producing the most popular music idols around the world, and we are happy to bring season six of Nigerian Idol to your screens.”
Online auditions for the new season have commenced and will close on December 13. Interested persons between the age of 16 and 30 should record a 30-second video singing any song and upload the video here.
Winners from previous seasons include Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert Onwuka, Mercy Chinwo, Moses Obi Adigwe, Evelle and K-Peace. Over the years, the show has produced Nigerian stars such as Timi Dakolo and Omawumi.
MultiChoice-owned movie channel Africa Magic has launched a cooking show hosted by Nigerian actor and media personality Nancy Isime.
Jollof With Me is a hybrid cooking show in partnership with global leading hand-wash brand Carex and dishwashing liquid company Morning Fresh.
In the show, Isime invites famous friends over for a meal and fun, light-hearted conversation. It also sees Isime making a cocktail that best describes the guest, who then tastes and rates the drink.
Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, channel director at Africa Magic, said: “It’s the season of celebration despite all that has happened in this interesting year. We all know how important food is during the festivities, and Africa Magic is always looking out for content to keep the subscribers entertained.
“This is why we have partnered with two important brands, Carex and Morning Fresh, to come up with this exciting cooking show to give our audience new cooking techniques while listening to relevant social conversations. Jollof With Me will really keep you entertained.”
MultiChoice-owned African pay TV operator DStv is set to launch a pan-African lifestyle channel called Honey next year.
The channel is operated by South African print media company Media24’s television unit, which is also responsible for Afrikaans lifestyle channel VIA. Launching on February 12, it will be available on DStv channel 173 for Compact, Compact Plus and Premium subscribers.
Unscripted channel Honey’s content will be focused on lifestyle, fashion, food, weddings, dating and reality.
The channel will be broadcast in all key African regions. Like MultiChoice, Media24 is backed by South African internet group Naspers.
Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO of general entertainment, said: “DStv is thrilled to launch Honey. The channel is part of our commitment to keep bringing fresh, authentic and local content to our African subscribers. For many years, we’ve seen lifestyle is a popular genre on the continent, and now our subscribers will see their own talent, food, celebrations and their families as the well-deserved hero.”
Aletta Alberts, head of content at MultiChoice, added: “Africa’s dynamism and way of life is the perfect ingredient for this exciting channel. Honey is going to add a sweet and sticky flavour to our subscriber offering. Lifestyle content is the ideal vehicle to reflect the continent’s diversity and sameness. Everyone curious about food, style and weddings is in for a treat.”
Izelle Venter, Honey’s channel head, said: “Media24 is delighted to collaborate with MultiChoice on this new adventure. The goal is to combine both companies’ best qualities, experience and knowledge to serve DStv subscribers with a new channel that is familiar, unique and entertaining.”
Zinzi Velelo, Honey’s head of content, added: “We are working with producers across the continent to ensure the lifestyle stories we tell are real and relevant. Our goal is to showcase the characters, talent and dynamics of everyday African life as never before.”
African pay TV giant MultiChoice Group and its flagship channel M-Net are set to launch a new telenovela channel called Novela Magic on the DStv platform.
Set to debut on November 27 at 18.00, the channel will provide African telenovelas and also honour the vast range of cultures and languages on the continent through a diversity of original home-grown stories and local creative talent.
Novela Magic will launch in phases, starting with the Southern African region for subscribers to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family packages. Titles in the telenovela collection include Nigerian series Unbroken (260×30’), Battleground (410×30’) and Forbidden (260×30’), and Zambian soap Zuba (180×30’), all from MultiChoice Studios.
According to MultiChoice programming executive Nkateko Mabaso, it is the growth and success of local storytelling that has compelled the business to launch an African telenovela channel.
“For over 30 years M-Net has been bringing to audiences across the African continent compelling stories that harness the imagination of our viewers while also showcasing the vast talent that is harboured on the continent,” said Mabaso.
“We want to continue this legacy of showcasing the best African stories with themes that resonate and engage our viewers, hence the launch of this new channel Novela Magic.
“West Africa and Southern Africa are synonymous with telenovela storytelling and these regions will now be able to share their wonderful crafts with other African regions on one channel and stories created in the language of the country of origin will be dubbed into English.”
BBNaija Lockdown edition winner Olamilekan Agbeleshe, also known as Laycon, has been revealed as the new brand ambassador of pay TV operator GOtv.
Laycon will star in the MultiChoice-owned brand’s festive campaign for the GOtv Jolli package as well kick off a GOtv city tour starting this month in Abeokuta, Enugu, Uyo, Abuja and Lagos.
Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer at MultiChoice Nigeria, said both Laycon and GOtv are synonymous with creativity, passion and the ability to connect with audiences both young and old.
“Laycon’s rise to fame on the platform of the hugely popular BBNaija reality TV show is one story that will never get old. His talent, fueled by passion, made him highly relatable and endeared him to many. We are excited to have him on board and we look forward to a mutually rewarding experience,” said Mabutho.
“I am excited to join the GOtv Nigeria family. This is a good one for me and I feel honoured to be a part of this leading pay TV entertainment brand. GOtv is about quality entertainment and that is something that resonates with my brand as a creative. I look forward to showcasing the amazing campaign we’ve worked on together,” said Laycon.
Mabutho added: “Starting Saturday November 21, customers can get a GOtv decoder and antenna with one month on Jolli package at N8,400. As always, our commitment is to enrich the entertainment experiences of our valued customers and with something for everyone during the holiday season with GOtv.
“In addition, GOtv is ushering in the festive season with an exciting mix of programming for the entire family, including a line-up of festive movies, sporting action, kids’ entertainment and local content. Some of the festive content to look out for includes the Africa Magic Holiday Channel, with new seasons of Turn Up Friday with Pepsi and Infinix and Owambe Saturday with Goldberg, plus a brand new show, Jollof with Me, sponsored by Cussons Carex and Morning Fresh.”
South African psychological thriller Dam is set to premiere on MultiChoice-owned African SVoD service Showmax in February 2021.
The show is written and directed by four-time SAFTA winner Alex Yazbek, produced by SAFTA-winning production company Picture Tree International and with three-time SAFTA winner Tom Marais as director of photography.
Shot in the Eastern Cape, the eight-part series follows a family and a town with dark secrets, and about how what you push down will eventually rise up.
It stars Silwerskerm Film Festival best actress winner Lea Vivier as a woman who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the farm house she has inherited.
Other actors include SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla (Themba), Natasha Loring (Sienna), SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw (Dora), Fleur du Cap winner Faniswa Yisa (Lindiwe), aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg, Gerald Steyn, SAFTA and DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award winner Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo, Neil Sandilands and a host of others.
Candice Fanguiero, Showmax’s head of content, said: “It’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything like Dam on South African TV.”
Other upcoming Showmax originals expected in 2021 include the reality series Lebo M: Coming Home, which is due to air on December 2, as well as Jahmil XT Qubeka’s ancient Africa series Blood Psalms, a coproduction with Canal+ International.
Also on the slate for next year are the second season of the SAFTA-winning comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary; the Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery Skemerdans; and Uthando Lodumo, a reality series about controversial celebrity couple Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha.
South African pay TV operator MultiChoice has announced changes to its top management team.
The company has appointed Nyiko Shiburi as CEO of its South African operations. Shiburi started his MultiChoice career at DStv Mobile as a project manager in 2007 having been involved in decoder and broadcast technology product development.
“He ably dealt with macro issues such as economic meltdown, drought that impacted electricity supply, tax issues, currency devaluations, regulatory issues, acquiring new licences, political and people challenges, and has shown resilience and nimbleness,” said MultiChoice group CEO Calvo Mawela.
“Shiburi has been the company’s regional director for southern Africa for the past two-and-a-half years and has had to navigate the complexity of multiple territories and multiple businesses each uniquely different and uniquely complex.”
Fhulu Badugela, a former group executive head of human resources at MultiChoice Africa and operations director at M-Net, has been appointed regional director for southern Africa markets.
“[Badugela’s] leadership and broader MultiChoice Group exposure has seen Fhulu achieve a great track record of leading operational excellence and enabling a high performance culture, and will help us drive forward the MultiChoice Africa Holdings business turnaround,” said Mawela.
Marc Jury takes up the role of CEO of the SuperSport division, responsible for managing negotiations and acquiring all sports-related programming across the SuperSport channels as well as overseeing the marketing of that content.
He was previously head of commercial and marketing for Cricket SA, commercial executive at sports marketing firm SAIL, MD for IFM Sport Marketing Surveys SA and an account director at United Media Entertainment Group in London.
“Marc has always had a great affinity to sport and this, together with his passion for motivating people and getting the best out of those around him, makes him the best candidate for the role,” Mawela added.
Lastly, Clement O’Reilly takes over as group executive head of human resources, while Gideon Khobane, current CEO of SuperSport, is now group executive for general entertainment, which is responsible for programming across all the pay operator’s platforms.
Shiburi and Jury will assume their new roles on December 1.
French broadcasting giant Canal+ Group has increased its stake in African pay TV company MultiChoice to 6.5%.
Shares in the South Africa-based company, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), spiked upon the news during Monday morning trading and were reportedly up 8.2% at R110.84 apiece at 10.39 today.
MultiChoice said: “Groupe Canal+ became shareholders in MultiChoice Group in April this year. We received notification that their shareholding has now increased to 6.5%, thereby exceeding the 5% threshold that requires us to inform our shareholders through the JSE, as well as the takeover regulation panel.
“We remain committed to acting in the best interests of all our shareholders and to create sustainable long-term value for them. As a publicly held company, MultiChoice regularly engages with its strategic partners and maintains an open dialogue with the investment community. The group’s policy is not to comment on its individual shareholders nor on its interactions with them.”
Canal+ Group is owned and controlled by French conglomerate Vivendi. As well as producing film and TV content, it has a significant pay television business and a film library of more than 5,000 titles. It is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris.
MultiChoice is backed by African internet company Naspers. The pay TV firm already partners with Canal+ on programming initiatives, such as the recently announced 10-episode South African drama series Blood Psalms.
Asian TV operator Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE)’s action entertainment channel Kix is set to launch on MultiChoice’s DStv in Africa.
Kix’s launch on DStv across Africa on October 1 will mark CTE’s first foray into the continent.
The channel features a mix of martial arts, action and thriller movies from the East and West, spanning 1960s to the present day, aired in English.
These include kung fu classics from the Shaw Brothers library, action comedies, adventure and fantasy action franchises and action thrillers. The movies features the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee, as well as other Asian action stars.
John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria’s MD, said the channel will expand its slate, offering viewers more variety.
In addition to DStv, Kix will also be made available on MultiChoice’s Showmax streaming service from October 2, with 30 titles being offered on demand every month.
MultiChoice channel Africa Magic is lining up a new series that has been filmed in the Nigerian state of Edo.
Enakhe comes as part of Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki’s drive to boost creative industry in the region, with 90% of the show shot in Edo State.
This initiative is a product of the Edo Creative Hub, which was formed after a meeting between stakeholders in the industry who had asked for more robust and constructive engagement to boost the state’s status in the sector. Enakhe deals with family feuds and illicit business deals.
Ukinebo Dare, executive director of the Edo State Skills Development Agency, said: “This project is being supported by EdoJobs and is introducing creative talent in Edo to the world, as well as telling the world that Edo is poised to host first-class productions.”
Dare said Enakhe’s showrunner, Victor Aghahowa, was born in Edo and was one of those hosted by Obaseki on International Youth Day in 2018.
“The interaction was held with various illustrious sons and daughters of Edo in Nigeria’s creative industry,” Dare said of that day in 2018. “His Excellency’s message to them was one of encouragement to join hands in building the new Edo and take the state to its pride of place in the world, something they were all passionate about.”
MultiChoice has partnered with Mexican broadcaster Televisa to launch a pop-up channel on the African firm’s pay TV platform DStv.
TLNovelas features Mexican telenovelas of various genres, offering romantic comedies, epic dramas and binge-worthy stories aimed at different viewing demographics.
Titles include flagship show Love Spell (Sortilegio) as well as Teresa, My Heart is Yours (Mi Corazón es Tuyo), Passion & Power (Pasión y Poder) and Fooled Into Love (Amores con Trampa).
John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “As Africa’s most-loved storyteller, we are unwavering in our commitment to ensure we continue to find the best available content and stories to delight our customers, both now and into the future. We endeavour to deliver both world-class international content as well as the very best in local content, giving our loyal customers a never-ending selection of outstanding entertainment.”
Fernando Muñiz, general director of Televisa Networks and Televisa International, said: “This channel launch showcases the growing value of the TLNovelas brand worldwide, with the English version of TLNovelas. Televisa continues its position as a leader in the pay TV market by offering content with the best quality.
“We continue to experience rapid growth all over the world due to partnerships with outstanding media players such as MultiChoice, and we are excited to take the next step of this expansion around the world.”
TLNovelas is available from now until August 2021 on channel 133 and is open to DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact subscribers. Televisa is the largest broadcaster in Mexico and also delivers satellite TV via subsidiary Televisa Networks.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice and its pay TV channel M-Net are working to roll out new local entertainment TV channels in African countries including Ghana, Ethiopia and Mozambique over the coming months and into 2021.
New channel Ghana M-Net will carry M-Net original productions including a local telenovela, reality shows and comedy and will be positioned as a flagship network for DStv subscribers in the country.
The companies will also launch a general entertainment channel for Ethiopia, where M-Net is already working on its first telenovela in the Amharic language, as well as a lifestyle channel for Africa similar to Discovery’s HGTV and BBC Lifestyle.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment, said: “Now it’s time to showcase to ourselves the best of our fashion, the best of our cooking and the best of the way in which we live.”
Pay TV company MultiChoice has announced the resignation of its CEO for South Africa, Mark Rayner.
In a statement, Multichoice said: “It is with great regret that today we announce the departure of Mark Rayner from MultiChoice, effective November 30. Having been part of the MultiChoice family for the past 14 years leading in various parts of the group, Mark has now decided to further his journey outside the group.
“Over the years, Mark has been a key part of driving growth, championing product innovation and pushing customer focus. We wish him well in the future. An announcement on Mark’s successor will be made in the near future.”
Rayner joined MultiChoice in March 2007 where he served as the chief financial officer of DStv Mobile until September 2008, after which he took the helm at the company.
As CEO of DStv Mobile, he oversaw the introduction of various mobile television services across the African continent. He was appointed as chief operating officer of MultiChoice South Africa in November 2013 and was promoted to CEO in May 2016.
Pay TV company MultiChoice Group is set to expand its investment and support the production of local content in Ethiopia.
The investment is part of MultiChoice’s hyper-local content strategy to continue its investment in local content production and aggregation. Ethiopia is recognised as having huge growth potential with its large population (second only to Nigeria in Africa), impressive GDP growth and its largely untapped potential within the ICT sector.
Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice Group, said: “Our commitment to Ethiopia can be seen throughout our tenure. Unlike many other businesses, we remained in the country since we launched our local operation nearly 30 years ago. We have built a truly Ethiopian business which has delivered solid results for us over the years. The strong foundation we have established through our local business, knowledge and expertise, positions us with a distinct advantage as we seek to unlock opportunities presenting themselves.
“Ethiopia is open for business and has demonstrated its commitment to supporting businesses around the world. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to Ethiopia through the development of local skills and industries, and through exciting plans for content that speaks to Ethiopians in their own voice.”
The company recently launched an Ethiopian channel, Zee Alem, on its DStv platform, invested in dubbing international content in Amharic as well as conducted training for SuperSport commentators in vernacular for local sports broadcasts.
“By continuing to invest in our local markets we intend to create lasting value for the local creative industry, with benefits including improved quality in the industry arising from training in our stringent technical standards; opportunities for local content creators; distribution of content in local languages; promotion of local talent who are able to build their individual brands; on-the-job learning for those involved in productions; and new content which we can license to other channels.
“In the aftermath of Covid-19, our commitment to the long term, and to creating local value chains and local content, is more important than ever. Multichoice is a business born and bred in Africa, and we are proud to reinvest in the continent for lasting socio-economic impact.”
MultiChoice has access to 19.5 million households across the continent with a library of more than 56,000 hours of local content in 17 languages for distribution via 33 proprietary entertainment channels in 50 countries.
In 2013, local content spending as a percentage of total general entertainment content spend was 30%. In 2020, it was 40% and is set to reach 45% by 2022.
African pay TV company MultiChoice is launching five new channels alongside releasing a pair of new decoders.
The Naspers-owned firm’s new channels focus on a range of genres, from telenovelas and kids’ entertainment to action programming and Korean dramas.
Tlnovelas will present an array of English-dubbed Mexican telenovelas from Latin America’s second largest producer and the channel’s owner, Televisa. It will run from September on DStv channel 133.
ZooMoo, a Canadian kids’ preschool channel from Blue Ant Media and aimed at 2-7s, will launch as a pop-up channel from October 1 to March 31 on DStv channel 314.
Kix is a Sony Pictures Television channel dedicated to action, martial arts and thriller movies. It will launch on October 1 on DStv channel 114.
Timeless Drama is a Turkish telenovela channel from SPI/Filmbox. It will launch in November on DStv channel 123.
Finally, TVN is a South Korean drama channel from CJ ENM. It will launch in November on DStv channel 134.
As well as the new channels, MultiChoice has unveiled two new decoders. The DStv Explora Ultra looks like a bigger set-top box and will carry third-party video streaming services in 4K, while the Streama decoder comes with a small remote control featuring YouTube and Showmax buttons, allowing subscribers to stream content from DStv, Showmax, YouTube and also stream music via the Joox app.
“Our DStv Explora Ultra brings the best of two worlds together by introducing streaming apps, adding depth to the entertainment offering available,” said MultiChoice in a statement. “It also sees the addition of built-in WiFi, making it easier to connect to the internet. It includes features previously available to PVR users, including Catch Up, Box Office and Showmax.”
MultiChoice hasn’t disclosed when consumers will be able to purchase the decoders.
MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said: “If you look at video entertainment in Africa, it’s still at its infancy stage. In the past three years, we have grown over one million subscribers each year. It has shown time and time again that Africans watch more TV than any other place in the world.
“This is the basis upon which we have built this company. We believe there is still opportunity for us to grow over 40 million subscribers across the whole continent. We want to be a one-stop-shop platform for video entertainment in the country.”