The African Animation Network (AAN), which links various animation professionals and national associations across Africa, has unveiled plans for a linear channel.
The AAN will first roll out a one-hour weekly edutainment block across networks in Africa at the end of this year, said its founder and head of projects and content Nick Wilson.
The animation-focused programming block will be trialled for three months in partnership with, at present, around 11 partner broadcasters in Sub-Saharan Africa that cannot yet be named.
“These broadcasters have a total audience reach of around 85 million viewers, and we’re conservatively estimating we can engage 8.5 to 12 million kids,” Wilson said.
The ANN plans to secure investment to launch its own linear channel if the trial is successful.
“We’re pretty bullish that we will get further investment to be able to run or at least build out a programme block or a 24/7 linear channel,” Wilson added.
“We want to create a broadcast network across the continent, but we also want to work in partnership with the local broadcasters and assist them in building ecosystems. We do not want to be in competition with them.”
On the content the network would greenlight, Wilson said: “There are only a handful of TV series that have come out of Africa and there is not enough catalogue for us to run a 24/7 linear channel.
“We have relationships with various distributors, who have plugs that we could license into Africa. But ultimately, the idea is for us to build up our channel around a new production company.”
Following the launch of a broadcast network, Wilson said the AAN would look to roll out accompanying digital platforms.
“In our roadmap, we have already identified that streaming or SVoD services will be part of the project’s long-term future, and we will pivot to that when it becomes necessary,” he said.