Tag Archives: MultiChoice

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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MultiChoice unveils MTF class of 2022

African broadcaster MultiChoice has revealed the 60 new students selected to be part of the third cohort of its 12-month fully-funded academic programme slated to begin next month.

The 60 aspiring filmmakers were chosen after a six-week selection process across 13 African countries and will now will proceed to the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy hubs in Nairobi, Lagos and Lusaka.

Representing East Africa are Kalkidan Fessehaye (Ethiopia), Nahusenay Dereje (Ethiopia), Ritha Saxon (Tanzania), Christopher Masalu (Tanzania), Raimon Sanga (Tanzania), Kenneth Msanjila (Tanzania), Doreen Kilimbe (Tanzania), Audrey Egesa (Kenya), Bruno Tanya (Kenya), Cesylia Oketch (Kenya), Clerick Werimo (Kenya), Desmond Okeyo (Kenya), Josh Artkins (Kenya), Mary Njoroge (Kenya), Patrick Odongo (Kenya), Yvonne Wambua (Kenya), Nassanga Ann (Uganda), Justine Nabunya (Uganda), Phillip Sentamu (Uganda) and Tusabe Ivan (Uganda).

Representing Southern Africa are David Paulo Sapalo (Angola), Fabiana Alexandra da Barros (Angola), Larona Dichaba (Botswana), Refilwe Kathleen Onana Podi (Botswana), Asante Mbaimbai (Malawi), Chisomo Kawaga (Malawi), Nelson Omar Faquirà (Mozambique), Silvana Pombal (Mozambique), Jerome Claasen (Namibia), Jose Carlos Panduleni Amutenya (Namibia), Lucia Kim Hamunghete (Namibia), Amos Mwape (Zambia), Blessings Mainga (Zambia), Canicius Kabwe (Zambia), Catherine Zulu (Zambia), Daniel Lungu (Zambia), David Senkwe (Zambia), Victor Lushinjilo Kasanga (Zambia), Chimwemwe Chipidza (Zimbabwe) and Yvonne F Feresu (Zimbabwe).

Representing West Africa from Nigeria are Andrea Peregrino, Abimbola Akinrinbola, Ayo Lawson, Emmanuella Bakare, Doris Nwoye, Favour Eniayekan, Ibrahim Mamman, Murewa Ayodele, Oluwatoyosi Fowode, Omowonuola Giwa, Plangnan Amtu, Samuel Ishola, Temitope Mariam Odo, Teniola Oyelumade, Wapah Kelechi Ezeigwe and Tosin Alabi. Alice Johnson, Emmanuel Horla Nuvor, Kwame Addae and Nubuke Amoah represent West Africa from Ghana.

MTF’s partnership with the New York Film Academy will enable the new cohorts to learn how to produce micro documentaries, public service announcements, TV commercials and music videos, broadening their skillset and allowing them to be economically active in the film industry and in other sectors, according to MultiChoice.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice, said: “As Africa’s most-loved storyteller, our commitment is not only to tell authentic African stories but to also invest in them. That is why some of our alumni are working on M-Net and Showmax productions.

“Currently, we have alumni in seven countries working on M-Net and Showmax productions, and the list keeps growing. They are helping us to realise the vision of taking African stories to the world with a hyperlocal approach, producing relevant content within the respective regions of our continent, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all strategy.”

According to MultiChoice Africa, the course qualification will be conferred on the students upon completion of the academy programme by its partner institutions – the Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos, Kenyatta University in Nairobi and the University of Zambia in Lusaka. They will also be offered an orientation intervention at the beginning and end of the programme and entrepreneurial workshops on business for creatives by the Henley Business School.

The MTF has honed the skills of 120 emerging filmmakers in 13 countries across the continent, who are now part of the growing MTF alumni network.

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Netflix picks up Smart Money Woman show

Smart Money Woman

Smart Money Woman, the television series adaptation of the 2016 financial self-help book of the same name by Arese Ugwu, will debut on Netflix on September 16.

The series premiered on MultiChoice channel Africa Magic Showcase a year ago.

“Our stellar cast, we did it. 10 days to go, who’s counting?” said the Smart Money crew on Instagram.

The 13-episode series highlights the experiences, sacrifices, struggles and vigour of African women as they carry out their day-to-day activities despite gender inequality.

Ugwu added on Instagram: “It still blows my mind that this all started with a book I wrote in my pajamas!!!! And it’s even more incredible that you all watched it unfold from publishing the book, going on a pan-African book tour, the process of converting it into a TV series… I’m so grateful guys… thank you for riding with me…. WE have a Netflix show!!!!!! Cheers to everyone that worked on this with me.”

Actor Ini Dima-Okojie added: “I can never forget how I felt the first time I read The Smart Money Woman, and then a year later I was cast as Tami and now it’s available for the world to watch on Netflix.”

The series is directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye, coproduced by Kemi Lala Akindoju, Akin Marinho and Arcadia TV Africa and also stars Osas Ighodaro, Toni Tones, Eby Eno, Eso Okolocha, Timini Egbuson, Karibi Fubara, Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi and Temisan Emmanuel.

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BBNaija S6 premieres this weekend

The sixth season of reality show Big Brother Naija (aka BBNaija) will kick off this weekend with episodes on both Saturday and Sunday night.

The 10-week show is Nigeria’s adaptation of the 22-year-old Dutch format distributed by global production powerhouse Banijay. It features a group of strangers living together in isolation from the outside world, with housemates being evicted until the last one standing claims N90million (US$220,000) worth of prizes.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will return to host the series, which airs on MultiChoice-owned channel Africa Magic.

John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “With each season of BBNaija, we task ourselves with delivering great content that will take the excitement a notch higher and meet the entertainment needs of our customers. For this sixth season, we are pulling out all the stops to give our customers a show like never seen before from Nigeria, with end-to-end production best practices under global health and safety standards.”

It will air from 19.00 on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29, with a simulcast on Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Urban and Africa Magic Family.

According to MultiChoice, BBNaija fans in the UK will also have access to the live, 24/7 show via African online streaming service Showmax. There will be no SMS voting in this season’s show; voting will take place only via the web and the MyDStv and MYGOtv mobile apps.

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MultiChoice readies East African movie net

Naspers-owned pay TV operator MultiChoice Group is set to launch a general entertainment movie channel on digital satellite platform DStv next week.

Barbara Kambogi

Maisha Magic Movies will be available in all key markets across Africa and will specifically cater to the Tanzanian, Kenyan and Ugandan audiences of East Africa. It will showcase authentic local movies with narratives that excite and resonate with that audience, according to the company.

The channel will feature movies from creators including Lovis Marcel Asimwe (A Reason to Die, Kiraurau, Nambachi), Mulwinda Richard (Freedom Movie) and Kang’ethe Mungai (Uradi).

Barbara Kambogi, channel head for Maisha Magic Movies, said: “We continuously study audience behaviour and tailor-make our offering to match the needs of the market at hand, hence the launch of Maisha Magic Movies.

“The channel is being positioned as a game-changer within the target market as well as in an industry where the creation of local movies has proven to be in deficit. Viewers can look forward to exciting homegrown titles in various genres, including action, thriller and drama.

“We are working alongside local producers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and continuously mentoring the teams to produce world-class content that resonates with the cultural nuances of the market thus making the content not only exciting but relatable to the viewer.”

The channel will launch on DStv channel 141 on July 26 and will also be available on DStv’s Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages.

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Showmax Pro to live-stream Tokyo games

MultiChoice-owned African streaming service Showmax Pro has announced plans to live-stream the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in more than 50 countries across Africa.

Yolisa Phahle
The 2020 games were postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. From July 23 to August 8 this year Showmax Pro subscribers will be able to live-stream hundreds of Olympic events on the service, including the opening and closing ceremonies and every medal event.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO for MultiChoice Connected Video, said: “We are thrilled to bring all the action to our Showmax Pro subscribers to stream wherever they are, and we’ll be backing our African athletes every step of the way.”

Marc Jury, CEO of MultiChoice’s SuperSport channels, added: “There is no bigger – or better – celebration of sport than the Olympic Games. It’s wonderful theatre, particularly at a time when we need to be entertained, and we look forward to the best-ever broadcast offering.”

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MultiChoice, YES train 300 young people

Pay TV company MultiChoice has partnered with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to train more than 300 learners as part of its continued commitment to South Africa’s youth.

Joe Heshu

The learners will take part in programmes, dubbed learnerships, that will involve the training of 225 young people in information and communications technology and internships where 75 technical and vocational education and training students will intern across a diversified portfolio that includes HR, finance, marketing, law and IT.

They will also receive employment opportunities, either with MultiChoice or externally.

Joe Heshu, group director for corporate affairs at MultiChoice, said: “The main objective for this programme is to create work opportunities for youth who have previously not been afforded the opportunity. It is our contribution to responding to youth unemployment in a meaningful way that impacts our communities.

“MultiChoice has long been an advocate for South Africa’s youth, providing mentorship opportunities and a platform for young people to tell their stories. This year we have deepened our commitment to the youth and through partnerships such as the one with YES we hope to continue to have a meaningful impact on the lives of young South Africans.”

This is the second year MultiChoice has taken in a cohort of learners as part of the programme and has created more than 400 new job opportunities as well as100 sports coaching learnerships through its Let’s Play initiative.

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Newzroom partners 1KZN, Mpuma Kapa

South Africa-based news network Newzroom Afrika has partnered with regional SA channels KwaZulu-Natal-based 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV to increase their audience reach and provide training and mentorship.

Thabile Ngwato

The initiative will enable Eastern Cape broadcasters 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV to offer live coverage of breaking news from rural areas, participate in interviews through studio-to-studio live feeds, produce exclusive content and news services, and package news inserts.

In addition, pay TV operator MultiChoice has give 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV a grant to improve their news coverage capabilities and establish news bureaus in their respective provinces. These grants will cover production equipment such as cameras, lighting, sound and computers, as well as training and technical support.

Newzroom Afrika CEO Thabile Ngwato said: “Our vision to be Africa’s leading credible news and information service will continue to be reflected in this new initiative. Supporting regional channels is a key portion of our overall strategy, which sees us delivering world-class offerings at every touchpoint.”

Edwin Mncwango, CEO of 1KZN TV, added: “In its quest to provide an authentic voice to the people of KwaZulu-Natal, 1KZN TV has been wanting to expand its news coverage. This partnership – made possible by MultiChoice – will enable us to do just that, while also building our capacity through professional training and assistance.”

Motse Mfuleni, chair of the board at Mpuma Kapa TV, said: “Mpuma Kapa TV is excited to be part of this new venture as we open up the Eastern Cape to the country and continent. As the leading broadcaster in the province, our news bureau can now open opportunities to train and shape a new generation of journalists and news reporters from the Eastern Cape.”

MultiChoice South Africa’s CEO Nyiko Shiburi added: “Regional TV stations are the lifeline for news and stories in their communities. We are committed to supporting and enabling them to improve the quality of broadcasting at grassroots level. Their partnerships with Newzroom Afrika will elevate local news to a national stage. Our hyperlocal strategy is about growing and telling local stories, and through this initiative we are seeing it in action.”

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MultiChoice Talent Factory debuts film series

Pay TV group MultiChoice has launched a series of short films from training scheme the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) on its DStv platform.

Yolisa Phahle

Colours of Africa, comprising 16 short films, has been launched as a celebration of African cinema.

All of the films are directed by the MTF academy class of 2020 and are in line with the MultiChoice Group’s support for the preservation and celebration of African history, culture and traditions through film and TV.

The titles are as follows: East Africa Academy films Egna (Ethiopia), Rebirth (Kenya), Ruracio (Kenya), Johari (Tanzania) and Engaito (Uganda); Southern Africa Academy films The Secrets of the Kingdom (Angola), Cradle (Botswana), Manda Aliza (Malawi), The Lobola (Mozambique), Kegumbo Okegumbo (Namibia), NYAU (Zambia), Lost in Culture (Zambia) and Figure It Out (Zimbabwe); and West Africa Academy films Oko K3 Akuetey (Ghana), Bride Untangled (Nigeria) and Omugwo (Nigeria).

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice group CEO of general entertainment and connected video, said: “The Colours of Africa film series is one of the many ways that MultiChoice celebrates young film talent in Africa. We are proud to honour Africa Day by celebrating the work of the MTF Academies’ class of 2020 in this way. The film series also speaks to MultiChoice’s commitment to developing and nurturing the abundance of young talent who represent the future of our industry.”

Cheryl Uys-Allie, director of the MTF initiative, added: “The theme of the collection of films is ‘connecting generations through storytelling’. What is particularly beautiful about the series is that the MTF students produced the short films in their home countries, adding local context, voice and visuals to their cinematic expression in the Colours of Africa series. The series also speaks to the purpose of MTF to ensure that we invest in the next generation of storytellers with knowledge shared by skilled professionals in the industry.”

The series can be watched on the M-Net Movies AfroCinema Film Festival pop-up channel, DStv channel 198, GOtv Max, GOtv Plus and on Showmax on Africa Day and beyond.

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MNet launches pop-up African cinema net

MultiChoice-owned African pay TV channel MNet has launched a pop-up channel named AfroCinema in honour of Africa Day on May 25.

Aimed at celebrating African filmmakers, the channel is showcasing movies from all over the continent, from Angola to Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and others.

AfroCinema is available to DStv subscribers from today until May 30. Movies on the channel include Sew the Winter to My Skin, Bed of Thorns, Payback, Promises, I Am Not a Witch, The Train of Salt & Sugar, Ensulo, Vaya, The Ghost & the House of Truth, Heritage Africa and Sylvia.

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s group CEO of general entertainment and connected video, said: “At its essence, Africa Day is about celebrating African unity and success as well as acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead. The pandemic has hit the film industry quite hard and African filmmakers were not spared.

“This Africa Day, we want to celebrate the talent and resilience of the continent’s film industry with the launch of this festival of African films where our audiences can enjoy AfroCinema from the comfort of their own homes.”

AfroCinema is available to stream via the DStv app and can be accessed on DStv 198.

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MultiChoice racks up SAFTA nominations

Pay TV company MultiChoice has received more than 140 nominations across all categories in the 15th edition of the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs).

Yolisa Phahle

The company said the achievement demonstrated its high investment in local content and is a win for the local TV and film production industry.

The TV shows nominated include telenovela Legacy, 1Magic’s The River and Mzansi Magic’s drama Housekeeper.

The KykNET channel secured 50 nominations in the TV Soap, Telenovela, TV Comedy and Feature Film categories; Gomora received five nominations in the Best Telenovela and Most Popular Telenovela categories; 2019 Rugby World Cup documentary Chasing The Sun secured four nominations for Best TV Documentary, Best Directing, Cinematography and Editing.

Showmax originals including Lockdown, Loving Thokoza and Black Tax were also nominated, while TV series Lebo M: Coming Home, Life With Kelly Khumalo and Somizi & Mohale are competing against each other in the category of Best Structured Reality TV Show.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment for MultiChoice group, said: “We are excited to once again see most of our shows scoop the bulk of this year’s SAFTA nominations. This is a win for local TV and film and demonstrates MultiChoice Group’s commitment to investing in local content to allow for local stories to be told by Africans.

“The nominations are also a testament to the incredible resilience of all the talent, cast and crew in various productions as our industry navigated the complexities brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic, which were characterised by production stoppages and a period of uncertainty for many creatives.”

The SAFTAs ceremony will take place on May 22 on Mzansi Magic DStv channel 161 at 19.00.

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Nigerian Idol unveils S6 finalists

Musical reality show Nigerian Idol has revealed the top 11 contestants who will compete for a chance to win this year’s sixth season.

The top contestants out of 68 chosen by judges Seyi Shay, DJ Sose and Obi Asika are: Faith Mark, Akunna Okey, Daniel Ikechi, Dotun Deloye, Clinton Francis, Emmanuel Elijah, Comfort Alalade, Faith Jason, Beyonce Ajomiwe, Kingdom Kroseide and Faith Onyeje.

Announcing the news on Instagram, MultiChoice-owned TV platform DStv said: “Your TV screen is about to be lit! Meet your Nigerian Idol top 11. Who will you vote for?”

The show is sponsored by Bigi Drinks and Tecno Mobile and will launch on May 9 on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv channel 151), Africa Magic Urban (DStv channel 153) and Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154 & GOtv channel 2) from 19.00.

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SuperSport goes back to school in SA

Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport has revealed a ground-breaking initiative aimed at investing in schools sport in South Africa.

Marc Jury

The SuperSport Schools initiative will broadcast many schools sporting fixtures as well as identify young talent. Schools will have access to technology production facilities and parents will be able to view school sports anytime and anywhere through the SuperSport Schools mobile app.

According to SuperSport owner MultiChoice, the focus will be on netball, hockey and rugby for the initial implementation phase, with cricket and water polo following as the programme extends.

SuperSport chief executive Marc Jury said: “This initiative is a natural extension of our mission to play our part to grow the pipeline for South Africa’s future sporting heroes. Schools sport is the foundation from which great sporting nations are built. The stronger the foundation, the brighter our future sporting stars can shine.”

The campaign aimed at taking SuperSport Schools to every corner of the continent will be spearheaded by Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi and Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Lukhanyo Am.

The initiative is also in partnership with tech firm Nashua, which will play a key part in rolling out the artificial intelligence automated cameras that are designed to produce and distribute live and highlight content via the mobile application and social/digital channels.

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MultiChoice unveils pop-up channels

Pay TV operator MultiChoice has unveiled plans for more pop-up TV channels this year, which will be available to more subscribers to pay platform DStv on lower-tier packages.

Aletta Alberts

This initiative was revealed at a virtual MultiChoice media showcase, during which the company also discussed its upcoming content slate, sports coverage, technological advances and upcoming changes to its business.

The new pop-up channels are Fast & the Furious and AfroCinema. The latter will air on channel 198 from May 21 to 30 as a festival of African film to celebrate Africa Day (May 25).

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice’s head of content and third-party channels, said: “The past year came with many challenges and, in a time of physical distance where the world felt a little bit smaller for everyone, it was a privilege to make things a little brighter by bringing the world’s best content home.

“In some ways, it has reignited our passion not only as a broadcaster that connects people and stories, but as a curator of an unsurpassed viewing experience. No matter where you are or what you’re into, as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, we’re lighting up the screens with serious star power and entertainment that shines above the rest.

“This year we’re doing pop-up channels like never before, with more of them but also more accessibility to DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and even DStv Family subscribers.”

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Mzansi Magic’s SA drama Gomora set for S2

Gomora was ordered for Mzansi Magic

M-Net’s South African original drama series Gomora is returning for a second season this month.

The series, produced by Seriti Films, was commissioned for the MultiChoice-owned channel’s local-interest network Mzansi Magic. It stars Connie Chiume, Siphesihle Ndaba, Ntobeko Sishi, Thembi Seete and Zolisa Xaluva.

Season one told the story of two families with different lifestyles and how their lives were intertwined by a tragedy, while season two will follow the pain of the same two families as they break apart and come together again.

Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: “After Gomora raked in high viewership numbers in its debut season, viewers are in for a treat, as the storyline looks set to raise emotions even higher as their favourites will find themselves squaring up against each other in this extraordinary tale of two families at the heart of Alexandra.

“Viewers are also in for a big surprise as one of the main characters in the telenovela will die and this will plunge the two families into chaos, heartbreak and pandemonium.”

Series producer Lulu Hela tweeted: “Our passion project Gomora has been renewed for season two. Grateful to our exceptionally talented and hardworking cast and crew for creating magic everyday. Grateful to our fans and supporters, thank you for loving our show as much as we do. The new season is said to bring tragedy that will shock viewers and completely change the dynamic of the two main families. It promises to be a story of betrayal, love and crime.”

Gomora S2 will debut on April 26 on Mzansi Magic DStv channel 161 at 19.30.

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MultiChoice, Airtel partner on mobile

Pay TV group MultiChoice and telecoms company Airtel Uganda have collaborated to offer tailored data bundles to DStv subscribers to enable them to access TV programming on their smartphones via the Airtel network.

Colin Asiimwe

Amit Kapur, chief commercial officer at Airtel Uganda, said that it was perfect timing to release this product considering the evolution of smartphones.

“Airtel Uganda continues to increase convenience and diversity by constantly introducing innovative products that simplify communications through strategic partnerships like this,” said Kapur.

Colin Asiimwe, head of marketing at Multichoice Uganda, added that the DStv ‘smart bundles’ will further improve customers’ viewing experiences by enabling them to enjoy the DStv app, stream live TV and catch up on premium movies, series and sports without having to be in front of the traditional TV.

“Multichoice remains committed to delivering the best video entertainment experience in Uganda through enhancing customer experience. The partnership with Airtel Uganda is a step in the right direction to ensure customer satisfaction,” he added.

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Showmax employs Working Wives

Working Wives centres on a group of Harare women

MultiChoice Group-owned South African SVoD service Showmax has picked up Zimbabwean scripted series Working Wives, produced last year by Ndiani Studios.

Working Wives is a 13-episode dramedy inspired by the Real Housewives franchise that follows the lives of a group of Harare women from a Millennial perspective. It also explores the challenges faced by a modern African woman tied to tradition in an urban world.

The series was adapted from a blog created by Sharon Bwanya and was produced by Tendayi Nyeke. It stars Tendaiishe Chitima, Dikelo Mamiala, Tendai Nguni, Nyasha Grace Munangatire, Maritawana Dhliwayo, Chipo Mugovewedenga Chikara and Megan Victor-Carelse.

“The series is an exciting pan-African collaboration shot between Zimbabwe and South Africa, starring a crew and talent from both countries in a time that sees borders fall as far as storytelling and viewing experience is concerned. Brace yourselves for a comedy drama because as crazy as life gets, it’s easier to swallow the hard pill with a good laugh,” said Nyeke.

Ndiani Studios launched Working Wives independently in 2020, with episodes available over the web via sites including Vimeo, and is available to air to international audiences with Showmax access. The series is distributed by Cote Ouest Audiovisuel.

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MultiChoice debuts new channels

African pay TV operator MultiChoice has launched two new channels on its platform: WildEarth and OneZed.

WildEarth airs on channel 183 and connects people with nature through live broadcasts and interactive experiences from the wilderness. It also focuses on live safari shows from wildlife locations including the Greater Kruger, the Kalahari, the Maasai Mara and other nature reserves.

Graham Wallington, co-founder and CEO at WildEarth, said: “WildEarth is all about sharing nature with everyone so we can all see why we must conserve our beautiful home.”

Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, MultiChoice’s MD for Ghana, added: “It’s important for us that our customers always have access to the best possible content available. We will continue to source the best possible content as we strive to bolster the channels on offer on our platform.”

OneZed is a general entertainment and family channel that blends a mix of talkshows, dramas, music shows and documentaries. It airs on DStv 172 and seeks to promote African talent.

Gus Banda, MD of MultiChoice Malawa, said: “This is one of the ways in which we continue to show how we are putting our customers at the heart of everything we do as a business and we will continue to add more value for their viewing pleasure.”

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Fugitive captures MultiChoice content

Tshedza Pictures’ Legacy

UK-based distributor Fugitive has struck a deal with South African entertainment company MultiChoice, under which the former will become the exclusive distributor for the latter’s original scripted series.

MultiChoice operates linear channel M-Net and SVoD platform Showmax, both of which have a slate of originals in development and production. Fugitive is launching three series at this year’s MipTV, with a further nine to be delivered in the 2021-22 financial year.

The first of the initial three series is Lioness, a 10×60’ crime drama produced by M-Net about a woman who is framed and sent to prison for a fraud committed by her husband, who has recently been found dead. Eight years later, she’s released and, while fighting to reunite with her children and prove her innocence, sees her husband on TV, alive.

Dam, meanwhile, is an 8×60’ psychological thriller about a woman who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the farmhouse she has inherited. But with her mother institutionalised and her own meds running out, she starts to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head. Dam is produced by Picture Tree.

The third series is Legacy (208×30’), a telenovela produced by Tshedza Pictures for M-Net. The show follows an investment billionaire who is approaching retirement, clearing the way for a family member to take the reins to the empire. The ensuing power struggle turns nasty, with a mix of betrayal, secrets, lies and revenge playing out on screen.

In addition to representing completed drama programming, Fugitive will also help MultiChoice secure future coproductions and pre-sales from the international market for titles on its originals slate.

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