Tag Archives: MultiChoice

MultiChoice launches two new channels

Pay TV company MultiChoice has launched two new channels for viewers in Angola and Mozambique.

Joao Ribeiro

Maningue Magic (Mozambique) and Kwenda Magic (Angola) will air dramas, telenovelas, comedies, local versions of hit reality shows, dubbed international content and homegrown music on MultiChoice’s DStv and GOtv platforms.

Maningue Magic features programmes including telenovela Maida, Mozambican music show Estação do Boss and Date My Family Moçambique, a local adaptation of the hit South African reality dating show Date My Family, which airs on Mzansi Magic.

Content on Kwenda Magic, meanwhile, includes O Rio, an Angolan adaptation of popular 1Magic telenovela The River; Makongo, a new drama about a young man’s life in Luanda; and Salão de Beleza, a sitcom about a Luanda establishment and its diverse customers.

Joao Ribeiro, channel head for both Kwenda Magic and Maningue Magic, said the channel launches represent “an exciting milestone” in MultiChoice’s hyperlocal strategy and are already providing a significant boost to the production industries in both countries.

“MultiChoice’s mission is to showcase Africa’s diverse, rich culture through our continent’s deep storytelling history. To have two new 24-hour channels in local languages, featuring locally produced content, provides an incredibly powerful platform to do this,” Ribeiro said.

“Until now, independent producers had few outlets for their work and had to act on many levels, struggling to get budgets and to have their content shown. With our channels requiring content 24 hours a day, we can now invite local producers to pitch ideas, to commission and develop projects, and to pay fair, market-related rates for work.

“By investing in the industry, we are creating opportunities for local talent, telling local stories, and adding to the stability of the industry. We believe it’s our responsibility to grow the industry in countries where we operate and to deliver content that resonates with our viewers.”

Fhulufhelo Badugela

Commenting on the ongoing hyperlocal strategy and production of content across Africa, MultiChoice Africa CEO Fhulufhelo Badugela said: “When we develop local channels or produce local content, we aim to create a platform that reflects local culture, so audiences see themselves represented in the content they watch.

“Localisation goes beyond simply duplicating popular formats in a different language or with a different cast; it’s about incorporating a country’s social, gender and religious conventions, as well as pop-culture trends like music, influencers and celebrities, into stories. This is what makes our hyperlocal strategy unique and exciting.”

Over the past 18 months, MultiChoice has grown its local content offering by launching several channels, including Pearl Magic Prime, Akwaaba Magic and Abol TV in Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia, respectively, as well as hit international coproductions like Reyka and ongoing local productions like the ever-popular Big Brother Naija.

Maningue Magic airs on DStv channel 503 and GOtv max channel 19, while Kwenda Magic airs on DStv channel 502.

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MasterChef SA’s new judges revealed

Justine Drake, Zola Nene and Gregory Czarnecki front the new MasterChef SA

MultiChoice-owned African pay TV network M-Net has revealed the new judges for returning cooking competition reality series MasterChef South Africa, which set for a fourth season after five years off-air.

The new judges are chefs Zola Nene and Gregory Czarnecki and food editor Justine Drake. The trio will be the culinary masters whose palates and expertise will guide 20 contestants to the ultimate R1m (US$66,000) prize and the coveted title of MasterChef.

According to M-Net, the judges, with their varied experience and viewpoints, will inject freshness into the new season of MasterChef SA, with Czarnecki bringing the perspective of an international chef and Nene and Drake the local experts.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video for MultiChoice, said: “We’re very excited to have one of our most-loved shows – and toughest of reality competitions – returning to our screen after some time away. We have always had a rich crop of home chefs to choose from, but the pandemic has certainly created more, and this is the perfect time for MasterChef South Africa to make a comeback.”

Commenting on having two women on the MasterChef SA panel, Dave De Bie, format consultant at Banijay, the company that owns the format, said: “We are focused on improving the gender balance in MasterChef judges worldwide. Over the last couple of years, we have increased the number of female judges and this is something we are continuing to improve upon.

“Out of 37 active markets, 26 now have female judges. We are delighted that MasterChef SA joins the likes of Israel, Norway, and Brazil with two female experts on their panel.”

The 20-episode series is produced by Cape Town-based production company Homebrew while the MasterChef format and programmes are represented internationally by Banijay Rights.

MasterChef South Africa S4 premieres on February 28 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 18.00 and the finale will air on March 31.

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MultiChoice names new MTF director

African pay TV company MultiChoice has appointed Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde as the new academy director at its talent incubator, the MultiChoice Talent Factory.

Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde

Babatunde has over 20 years of industry experience, spanning entertainment, branding, research, media management, marketing and strategy. In her new role, she will responsible for ensuring that talented creatives are given world-class training at the MultiChoice Talent Factory academy.

Babatunde joined M-Net (Africa Magic) in 2014 as the head of channel for Africa Magic Entertainment, which is now called Africa Magic Showcase. She became head of channel for Africa Magic Urban in 2015 and led the team that converted the channel from a movie-only service to the current general entertainment channel.

Babatunde was also the head of the channel for Africa Magic Igbo and led the team that launched it on the MultiChoice-owned DStv satellite platform. In 2018, the Africa Magic Epic channel was added to her portfolio of channels, and she drove the content acquisition strategy for the four channels.

Babatunde holds an MSc degree from the University of Lagos and an MBA from the Lagos Business School, where she graduated with distinctions in marketing, entrepreneurship and strategy.

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African TV subs set to rise to 57 million

The number of pay TV subscriptions in Africa is set to climb from 39 million in 2021 to 57 million by 2027, according to newly released projections from UK analysis firm Digital TV Research.

However, while the number of subscribers is predicted to grow by 46%, the revenues derived from those subscriptions will rise by only 35%, due to the fact Africa’s three dominant pay TV providers – Multichoice, StarTimes and Canal+ – will reduce their prices as they tussle for supremacy in the region.

According to Digital TV Research, pay TV revenues in Africa will climb to US$6.46bn in 2027, up from US$4.78bn in 2021.

By 2027, South African broadcaster and pay TV provider Multichoice will have 20.8 million subscribers across its DStv and GOtv platforms, said the research firm. Meanwhile, Chinese media company StarTimes, which has a significant presence across sub-Saharan Africa, will grow to 18.4 million, and Vivendi-owned French company Canal+ will climb to 11.2 million subs.

“Few new players are expected. Instead, the three protagonists will battle for supremacy – often by cutting prices,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

While the pay TV sector in Africa is set to grow significantly over the next five years, data from Digital TV Research indicates that OTT will grow at a much faster rate. A report released last year suggested revenue from movies and TV series on OTT platforms in Africa will reach US$1.7bn by 2026, compared with US$392m in 2020. Around US$1.5bn will come from SVoD platforms, said Digital TV Research.

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Showmax lines up next Kenyan original

Single-ish

MultiChoice-owned African streaming service Showmax will launch its next original Kenyan series, Single-ish, on January 20.

The 13-part drama is adapted from the hit South African series Unmarried and is produced by Insignia Productions. It is co-directed by Philippe Bresson, Grace Kahaki and Robby Bresson.

Single-ish tells the story of three women in Nairobi: a career-focused lawyer who seems to have the perfect life; a woman with a taste for the finer things in life; and a housewife and mother who has lived with her high-school sweetheart for nine years.

The series follows how the three women deal with the challenges that marriage, relationships and careers throw at them. It also explores the strong bond of friendship that they share. Gathoni Mutua (This Is Life), Minne Kariuki (Ma’Empress) and Faith Kibathi (This Is Life) star.

Single-ish is the second Showmax original series from Kenya after the Kalasha-nominated police procedural drama Crime & Justice. The streamer’s original productions in the country began with the film Baba Twins, which launched last month.

Mutua said: “Other than the fact that it’s a show about women, Single-ish has this chic yet nostalgic old-school girlfriends’ vibe that takes the drama a notch higher without feeling like the friendship will fall apart.”

Regarding her character, Kariuki said: “She is a modern-day slay queen who pretends to afford a lavish lifestyle and flaunts it all on social media because she wants to keep up with the trends. Single-ish doesn’t shy away from telling it all as it is, capturing the struggles of modern women.”

Kibathi added: “Single-ish is different because it’s very relatable and has a touch of the actual dating experiences in Nairobi. It also shows the beauty of reliable female friendship, especially when things get bad.”

Other stars include Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Michael Munyoki (A Grand Little Lie), Lucarelli Onyango (Crime & Justice), Mburu Kimani (Nairobi Half Life), Lenana Kariba (Selina), Dora Nyaboke (Crime & Justice) and Jacky Kaboi (Bait).

Bresson, co-founder and director of Nairobi-based Insignia, said: “For the first time, we are able to depict real life in an unfiltered way. To me, this is real filmmaking, when you are able to tell the story as it should be, so even as the viewer watches it, they will be surprised, shocked and will fall in love with how we tell the story.

“I don’t think there’s been any other show that has pushed the boundary in terms of women’s issues as we have.”

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UNESCO hails Africa’s $20bn potential

The film and audiovisual industry in Africa has the potential to create over 20 million jobs and generate US$20bn in revenues per year, a new report claims.

The report, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was conducted between November 2020 and May 2021. It forms part of UNESCO’s commitment to the diversity of cultural expression and to help develop dynamic cultural and creative industries (CCIs) on the continent.

Titled The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth, the report maps the film and audiovisual industry in the 54 states of the African continent, analyses their strengths and weaknesses and offers recommendations for action at the continental, regional and national levels.

The report states: “The economic potential of the film and audiovisual sectors remains largely untapped and is historically and structurally underfunded, underdeveloped and undervalued, generating only US$5bn in annual revenue out of a potential US$20bn, according to the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers.”

Even though cinemas closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, from an infrastructure perspective, the distribution sector underwent profound changes.

“Before the pandemic, new French investments in francophone West Africa, Morocco and Tunisia were expected to triple the number of screens in the region by 2024. Most impressively, Nigeria emerged as a true success story, showing a 200% increase in cinema locations between 2015 and 2020, with the total number of Digital Cinema Initiative-compliant screens reaching 237 in 2020. Home-grown Nollywood films now rival Hollywood blockbusters at the box office.”

Thanks to digital technologies, production has been growing rapidly in Africa in recent years. The broadcast industry is now almost fully liberalised, with over 1,000 private television channels operating across the continent.

This follows the opening up of some of the last markets, such as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire, and the gradual transitioning process from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television.

There is now growth in pay TV, dominated by South Africa’s MultiChoice (with 20.1 million subscribers), China’s StarTimes (7.8 million) and France’s Canal+ (six million).

Technology has given rise to affordable digital film equipment and the ability to distribute and monetise content directly to consumers via online platforms, ranging from YouTube, other social media and Netflix to local mobile video services. This has led to a new economy for African content creators which bypasses traditional gatekeepers.

The report states there are positive signs that countries across the continent are waking up to the potential of their creative industries, and more specifically of film and television.

Moreover, in this tumultuous period, it is becoming increasingly urgent for African governments to establish strong national, regional and continental strategies to take control of their fast-growing creative sectors.

The report highlights four potential blueprints for growth, namely the Nollywood model, the Auteur model, the Service model and the Festival model.

“Particular attention must be paid to addressing current industry trends and challenges in an informed and collective manner. Only in this way can states ensure that their past, present and future creative products are protected, preserved and developed, and that their cultural and commercial value benefits Africa and contributes to its global outreach,” it adds.

The African VoD sector is also growing rapidly, with subscriptions poised to balloon from 3.9 million in 2020 to 13 million in 2025, according to UK-based analyst Digital TV Research.

“Netflix now has about two million subscribers across the continent, while the South African Showmax has some 688,000 direct subscribers. In North Africa (and the Middle East), StarzPlay is another strong contender, with 1.8 million subscribers across the Arab region,” says the UNESCO report.

“In Côte d’Ivoire, VoD services have developed spectacularly recently thanks to the deployment of more than 5,000 kilometers of optical fibre in the territory. Most local operators, such as RTI and mobile operators Orange, MTN and Moov Africa, have also launched their own VoD services.”

It adds that the Nigerian film industry employs over a million people directly or indirectly, having produced some 2,599 films in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, making it the world’s second largest film industry in terms of output after Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood.

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Mzansi Magic brings back Big Brother SA

MultiChoice-owned South African network Mzansi Magic is bringing classic reality format Big Brother back to local screens for the first time in seven years.

Produced by Randburg-based Red Pepper Pictures, Big Brother Mzansi has started casting for a new season to launch in 2022, having last aired on the channel in 2015.

Banijay Rights handles international distribution of the format, which was devised by noted Dutch format creator and producer John de Mol and first aired in the Netherlands in 1999.

“This year marks 20 years since the very first Big Brother on MultiChoice’s M-Net and we are excited to celebrate this milestone by commissioning a new Big Brother season, which will be housed under our Mzansi Magic stable,” said Nomsa Philiso, executive head of programming, at M-Net.

“This is a show that has always delivered top ratings and entertainment value, and our viewer and advertising partners can look forward to a stellar season of Big Brother.”

Robin Pollok, VP of sales for Africa, Middle East, Greece and Israel at Banijay Rights, added: “Seven years have passed since Big Brother Mzansi last graced South African viewers’ screens and we couldn’t be happier to work with MultiChoice and Red Pepper Pictures to revive this global phenomenon, which continues to have an enduring appeal worldwide.”

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MultiChoice links up with Udemy platform

Pay TV company MultiChoice has collaborated with online learning platform Udemy to offer its DStv and GOtv customers across Africa skills advancement and development opportunities.

Fhulufhelo Badugela

According to South Africa-based MultiChoice, over the years its customers have been able to access educational content on Discovery, Nat Geo Wild, History Channel, DaVinci Kids, BBC and other channels.

They will therefore have access to some of the best online learning opportunities available as well as thousands of courses to aid them in their personal and professional development.

Fhulufhelo Badugela, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, said: “We’re very excited to partner with an innovative and purposeful platform like Udemy, especially as the world shifts to an online learning future.

“We are constantly seeking ways to enrich and progress the lives of our valued customers and tapping into learning and development is a natural next step. Investing in the future of our continent is a top priority and we are proud to be able to collaborate with another platform that values the accessible advancement of our customers as much as we do.”

Llibert Argerich, senior VP of marketing at Udemy, added: “As a global learning platform, our mission is to provide access and create new opportunities for learners around the world, across a wide range of content areas and at all levels of expertise. MultiChoice has a long history of prioritising learning, and we’re proud to be working with them to unlock new possibilities for learners across the continent.”

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MultiChoice director Letele to retire

Nolo Letele, director and former CEO at South Africa-based pay TV company MultiChoice, is set to retire at the end of this month.

Nolo Letele

The news was revealed in a MultiChoice statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which said: “Shareholders are advised that Mr FLN Letele (Nolo) will retire as a non-executive director of the board of directors… and the social and ethics committee with effect from 1 December 2021.”

Letele became a chartered engineer at the University of Southampton in the UK. He joined M-Net in 1990 and pioneered MultiChoice’s expansion outside South Africa. In 1999 he was appointed CEO of MultiChoice SA, later serving as MultiChoice group CEO until 2010, when he was appointed executive chairman of the MultiChoice South Africa Holdings board.

He has won awards ranging from the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize for Media Development in Africa to the prestigious Naspers Phil Weber Award, and the Black Business Executive Circle Chairman’s Award.

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Whitemoney becomes GOtv ambassador

Whitemoney with John Ugbe of MultiChoice

Hazel Oveze Onou, also known as Whitemoney, winner of season six of reality show Big Brother Naija, has signed up to become a brand ambassador for MultiChoice-owned pay TV platform GOtv.

The digital terrestrial service announced the news on Instagram, saying: “Welcome to the MultiChoice family. Whitemoney is our new GOtv brand ambassador. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him on our 10th anniversary.”

In addition to this, the pay TV platform revealed that he will also be getting his own reality show, details of which will be announced soon.

Whitemoney said: “I am highly pleased to join GOtv family as their latest ambassador. I feel so honoured to be part of this leading pay TV entertainment brand.

“More so, as an entertainer, I also have the opportunity to own my show on this platform and I couldn’t be happier to associate with a pure quality entertainment brand. Looking forward to the exciting journey with my new family.”

Whitemoney shook hands on the deal with John Ugbe, CEO of pay TV company MultiChoice Nigera.

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Auditions open for Nigerian Idol S7

Nigerian Idol

Musical reality show Nigerian Idol, based on Fremantle’s globe-trotting talent show format, is coming back for a seventh season.

MultiChoice Nigeria has announced that online auditions are open and will close on November 28. Anyone interested aged between16 and 30 should upload a 60-second video of themselves singing any song of their choice here.

Busola Tejumola, executive head of content and West Africa channels at MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “MultiChoice remains committed to promoting and giving young music talents in Nigeria a platform to shine and actualise their dreams.

“Season seven promises to be even bigger and more entertaining. So if you believe you have what it takes to be the next Nigerian Idol, be a part of the auditions.”

The show is sponsored by beverage company Bigi Drinks and will air on MultiChoice pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv in February 2022.

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NFVF picks Barakat for 2022 Oscars

Barakat

The National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) has chosen the movie Barakat as South Africa’s official submission for Best International Feature at the 94th Academy Awards next year.

Barakat is a 2020 South African family drama directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon. It deals with family problems where an aging matriarch aims to bring together her fractured family over Eid-al-Fitr to break the news about her new romance.

According to MultiChoice broadcaster M-Net, the movie is told in Afrikaaps, the widely spoken Cape dialect of the Afrikaans language, and Jephta is the fourth female director to be submitted to the Oscars by South Africa, and the first woman of colour.

The film stars Vinette Ebrahim, Joey Rasdien, Mortimer Williams, Keeno-Lee Hector, Danny Ross, Quanita Adams and Bonnie Mbuli.

Jephta said: “I am so proud that our small story about a family has reached as many people as it has. To be recognised by South Africa in this way is incredibly special after an extremely challenging year for our film industry.”

“This selection was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be. It is our Barakat,” added Gordon.

Next year’s Oscars will be presented on March 27.

The movie was released in South African cinemas in May 2021 and on BoxOffice by pay TV platform DStv in June 2021. It has won seven international awards so far, including Best International Feature at the 2021 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema and Best Narrative Feature at both the Motion Pictures International Film Festival and The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Festival in 2020.

Barakat was developed in partnership with kykNET, a MultiChoice-owned channel, and funded in association with The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition, the NFVF, The Industrial Development Corporation and Indigenous Film Distribution, the film’s South African distributor.

The movie can be watched on kykNET on December 18 at 20.00.

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MultiChoice takes home Promax awards

African pay TV operator MultiChoice has won awards in various categories at the Promax Africa Awards ceremony.

Thabisa Mkhwanazi

MultiChoice scooped 22 gold and 25 silver awards in categories including Video Entertainment Brand of the Year for DStv 2021, Best Sports Promo for SuperSport: LaLiga, Best Entertainment Promo for My Kitchen Rules South Africa, Best Children’s Promo for Fuel Your Imagination and Best Promotion for a Streaming Service for Showmax Pro.

Thabisa Mkhwanazi, exec head of marketing at MultiChoice South Africa, said: “We could not be prouder of the teams behind these winning campaigns. Our marketing partners are amongst the most creative, talented and committed on the continent.

“It’s thanks to their unwavering passion and dedication we are able to soar to great heights year after year. The work they produce, combined with our commitment to placing our customers at the heart of everything we do, are the reasons our campaigns, promos and content are so well received across the continent.

“Being recognised by our peers and industry leaders adds gravitas to our content strategy and cements our position as Africa’s most loved storyteller.”

The Promax awards are a celebration of outstanding achievement in entertainment marketing and design. Across 11 regional and global competitions, the awards honour the teams that turn viewers into fans, create value and build the biggest brands in entertainment.

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Yolisa Phahle among top business women

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice Group, is one of the 50 most senior women in corporate Africa mentioned in Africa.com’s Definitive List of Women CEOs.

Yolisa Phahle

According to South African pay TV group MultiChoice, Africa.com undertook rigorous research to identify the women who run the largest, most complex businesses on the African continent.

Phahle has held several senior roles within MultiChoice South Africa and is now the driving force behind the group’s content strategy to be the world’s leading African storyteller as well as delivering the best international and local content to the organisation’s more than 19.5 million customers, with a strong focus on innovation and industry development.

“It is an honour to be recognised along with other women leading big business in Africa. I hope that our collective efforts will pave the way for more African girls to aspire to reach their biggest goals in Africa’s private-sector corporations,” Phahle said.

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Auditions held for Big Brother Mzansi S3

Online auditions have begun for season three of South African reality series Big Brother Mzansi, following M-Net’s announcement it was renewing the show for another season.

South Africans who are articulate, interesting, reveal enthusiasm for the project, have a willingness to share their most private thoughts in an open forum and can stay 100 days in a camera-filled house can apply by uploading a two-minute video of themselves showing why they should be one of the contestants.

Big Brother Mzansi will run as a 24/7 channel on MultiChoice’s DStv, with daily highlight shows on M-Net’s Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

Formerly known as Big Brother South Africa, the show aired its last season in 2015. It is one of 69 adaptations of the Banijay-owned format worldwide and 2021 marks 20 years since the first ever Big Brother South Africa.

Auditions are being held until November 6.

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MultiChoice showcases SA at Expo 2020

Pay TV company MultiChoice has announced plans to put South Africa centre stage during the World Expo 2020 taking place in Dubai this weekend.

Imtiaz Patel

With MultiChoice being the official broadcast partner of Team South Africa, the company will host live performance One Night with Mzansi at the Dubai Opera on October 17. This will showcase the best of SA’s talent as they share their craft with the world through storytelling, performance and music.

The live show will be hosted by South African actor Nomzamo Mbatha and will feature performances by local favourites like Mi Casa, Blaq Diamond, DJ Maphorisa, Daliwonga and Ami Faku.

Production companies including Tshedza Pictures and The Bomb Shelter, both of which have worked closely with MultiChoice over the years, will be present as well as artists including Sho Madjozi, Pabi Moloi, Thando Thabethe, Coenie de Villiers, Mzansi Youth and Drakensberg Boys Choirs.

According to the pay TV company, there will also be a content showcase of all of South Africa’s events on October 18 and 19 to reveal its talent and highlight the country’s beautiful natural assets and availability for business.

MultiChoice’s group non-executive chair Imtiaz Patel said: “MultiChoice has chosen this strategic direction as its contribution to national efforts to kickstart the South African economy and contribute to job creation interventions.

“South Africa’s attractiveness in the creative and cultural sector has, over the past few years, emerged as a key growth opportunity for the country, and as a platform on which to position and showcase its natural beauty and diversity using the international film and multimedia stage.

“The World Expo 2020 is therefore a platform to showcase the country’s assets, both natural and people, to, amongst others, the international business, investor, creative and tourism sectors. Both the creative and cultural as well as the tourism sectors have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the exposure at the World Expo 2020 can give these sectors a much-needed boost.”

The event, themed Think South Africa, Think Opportunity, will invite international guests to visit, explore and experience the gateway to Africa. The group will leverage its more than 20 million subscribers and 100 million viewers across the continent to promote the South African story of resilience and constant re-invention to global audiences until the end of March 2022.

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MultiChoice unveils new channel Me

African pay TV operator MultiChoice has revealed plans to launch a new network named Me on channel 115 through its digital satellite TV platform DStv.

Yolisa Phahle

Me combines two channels – M-Net City 115 and Vuzu 116 – and is targeted at DStv Family and DStv Compact viewers but will also be available to subscribers to the DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus packages.

MultiChoice said the channel, which launches at 16.00 on November 1, will enable viewers watch world-class series and reality shows in one place by offering them a wide selection of international programming.

This includes daily episodes of imported series such as The Rookie, NCIS: New Orleans, Survivor Australia and Young Sheldon from 17.00 to 20.00, as well as other series like Lioness, Prodigal Son, reality shows Beat Shazam, American Idol and Growing Up Hip Hop, and acclaimed dramas including Queen Sugar.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment for Multichoice Group, said: “We’re changing the way we package content and creating a single, extensive, well-curated destination. Me will give our viewers and subscribers a multifaceted, competitive channel offering, and we’re pleased to offer the best international entertainment in one place.

“Me is a destination for primarily the 18- to 34-year-old market and, in addition to international scripted content, it will feature lifestyle shows and celebrity content that has been previously broadcast on M-Net Channel 101 and 1Magic. Me is taking us in an exciting direction that speaks to the multiplatform world we live in and further sharpens our aim to give our subscribers content that they connect with.”

MultiChoice said M-Net City (DStv channel 115) and Vuzu (DStv channel 116) will officially close on Friday October 29 to make room for the new service.

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Whitemoney wins BBNaija S6

Hazel Oyeye Onou, popularly known as Whitemoney and hailing from Enugu State in Nigeria, was this week crowned the winner of the sixth edition of reality show Big Brother Naija (BBNaija).

Whitemoney

The show, taglined Shine Ya Eye, started airing on MultiChoice platforms DStv and GOtv in July with 22 housemates who lived together in isolation for 71 days, as per the format of the globe-trotting Dutch reality show distributed by Banijay Rights.

The housemates perform various tasks and are evicted weekly until one is left. Whitemoney won the N90m (US$219,000) grand prize while Liquorose emerged as the first runner-up and Pere as the second runner-up.

Celebrating his win on Instagram, Whitemoney said: “It’s your boy Whitemoney. Street boy has made it to the top. Street boy has won the show Shine Ya Eye. Money gang I love you. I love you all.”

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DStv Internet launches in SA

Pay TV company MultiChoice has launched internet service provider DStv Internet in South Africa

Nyiko Shiburi

The Naspers-owned company said the move aligned with its aim to add more value to customers by providing internet to those who do not have access to fibre services.

Nyiko Shiburi, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa, said: “Customer experience is at the forefront of MultiChoice’s continued product innovation. DStv Internet provides South Africans with connectivity for all their household internet requirements, giving them more convenience and choice.”

In related news, MultiChoice has partnered with mobile communications operator MTN to enhance access to digital services in South Africa.

Quintus De Beer, executive for managed network services at MTN South Africa, said: “We are proud to partner with MultiChoice. As a network wholesale provider, we are gearing up to serve the broader digital ecosystem to ensure more people can benefit from a modern and connected life.”

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DStv among SA’s most valuable brands

Pay TV operator DStv has been ranked as South Africa’s eighth most valuable brand in the recently published Kantar BrandZ 2021 report.

Jabavu Heshu

DStv has moved up two positions from its 2020 placement and is the only brand in the media and entertainment category in the top 10. It is valued at US$1.25bn, accounting for 4.3% of the top 10’s total value of US$18.7bn.

Above DStv in the South African rankings published by analyst and research firm Kantar were First National Bank in the top spot, followed by telco Vodacom, beer brand Castle, Standard Bank, telco MTN, fast food chain Nando’s and insurance firm Discovery. Below DStv were banking firm Absa in 9th and retailer Woolworth in 10th.

Jabavu Heshu, group executive for corporate affairs at DStv parent company MultiChoice Group, said: “We remain committed to placing the customer at the centre of everything we do – and the improvement in our place from 2020’s ranking shows that our strategy is working and that we continue to grow in an immensely difficult economic climate.

“Growth in such a challenging time and the entrenchment of DStv as a brand that is held in high esteem by South Africans can be attributed to the dedication employees have in seeing the brand soaring to new heights as well as the work that is put in daily.”

Experience, Function, Convenience and Exposure are the four brand-building fundamentals that drive consumer demand, according to Kantar.

Ivan Moroke, CEO of Kantar South Africa, said: “Three major factors are currently contributing to brand growth in South Africa: getting the fundamentals right, solving the value equation, and building a unique differentiation.

“The report highlights how value goes beyond the price point; money is not the only currency in the value equation. Given our hectic lives and often lengthy commutes on public transport, South Africans increasingly value things like trust and convenience.”

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