Nigerian media firm Envivo Communications is launching an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service called nVIVO TV to increase its offering of Nollywood and international video content to devices throughout Africa.
Africa continues to register low television penetration within households, and there is still on average of only one cinema screen per million people. As a result, streaming video is fast becoming the most popular way to watch movies, shows and other content, as many households having smartphones or other mobile devices.
To help broaden the availability of video in Africa, Envivo will offer streaming video services for Nollywood and international content across mobile devices including phones, tablets and PCs.
nVIVO TV will use Cisco OTT video solutions and will be made available in early 2018.
“The vision of nVIVO TV is to drive the African and African diaspora market towards a new online streaming experience that provides significant domestic content,” said Olu Obadina, chairman and chief innovation officer at Envivo.
Discop plans to follow next year’s market at Abidjan in Ivory Coast, where the first edition of the knowledge-transfer and matchmaking programme Discore will be held, with a launch in Lagos in 2019, reports Abraham Osemwenkhae.
The event’s organisers are looking to focus on the booming industry in Nigeria, the world’s fastest-growing entertainment market over the next five years, as predicted by PricewaterhouseCoopers recently.
Discop Lagos will have its own personality, format and agenda. Cross-cultural bridges will be built between this new market and the ones in Abidjan, Dubai and Johannesburg. Identical research, promotional, meeting organisation and travel planning services will be provided to all delegates ahead of each market.
While recession has hobbled the Nigerian economy for much of the past year, forecasts predict continued growth for Africa’s entertainment marketplace. “Within the next five years, the Sub-Saharan African marketplace is expected to grow by 35% and become the fastest-growing world region for entertainment content business,” said Patrick Zuchowicki, general manager of business event organisers Basic Lead.
That growth will be driven by “original, multi-platform entertainment content produced in Africa, reinforced trade between Sub-Saharan African countries and intra-regional coproduction initiatives. People from Nigeria are not going to go to Sweden to sell their content – they’re going to stay in Africa. That’s where their prime market is,” said Zuchowicki.
Nigeria was the first country to take centre-stage at Johannesburg-based Discop Africa in November 2013. A range of dedicated events, screenings and conference tracks took place to mark the 20th anniversary of Nollywood, which highlighted the rapid growth in the Nigerian movie industry.
European satellite platform Eutelsat is the market leader in the satellite TV market in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, according to new research.
Eutelsat’s position in the TV market was revealed in a study by media research firm Nielsen in the three countries. It involved one-on-one interviews with 3,000 households in Nigeria, 2,000 in Cameroon and 2,000 in Ivory Coast.
It was discovered that DTH satellite television was the most used TV delivery technology in Ivory Coast, reaching 68% of households, and a very popular method in Nigeria (41% of households) and Cameroon (38% of households).
This translates as 1.5 million satellite TV households in Ivory Coast, 10.3 million in Nigeria and 1.3 million in Cameroon. Of this installed DTH base, Eutelsat’s satellite signals reach 240,000 households in Ivory Coast, five million in Nigeria, and 940,000 in Cameroon.
“Eutelsat is pleased to have established a strong presence in the regional audiovisual landscape, providing millions of households with access to a wide range of local and international channels,” said Nicolas Baravalle, VP for sub-Saharan Africa at Eutelsat.
“This study confirms that Eutelsat’s 16° east position is the leading position for free-to-air broadcasting in Cameroon and Ivory Coast and that Eutelsat’s three positions – 36° east, 7° east and 16° east – serve the largest combined audience in the Nigerian market,” he added.
“It is a testament to our long-standing partnership with many of Africa’s leading TV channels and bouquets. We look forward to strengthening these partnerships to develop our services as these dynamic markets continue to evolve.”
Abuja-based High Definition Film Academy (HDFA) is preparing to launch the seventh edition of its reality TV show on March 24.
Script to Screen aims to train filmmakers by helping to develop their skills through direct mentorship and tasks.
Some 60 participants have been chosen from more than 20,000 applicants. Auditions were held in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, US, UK and Canada.
According to the organisers at the HDFA’s production arm, High Definition Film Studio, this year’s edition will tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria, with the theme Corruption-Free Nigeria.
Participants will be divided into four teams that will undergo intensive training and lecturing from various mentors. They will also work with the organisers of the show to produce short films featuring top Nollywood actors.
Eviction will be held bi-weekly and viewers can vote for their favourite team. Participants with the lowest performance will be evicted by a jury.
Script to Screen’s 2018 jury and facilitators include Nollywood actors and producers such as Blossom Chukwujekwu, Nse Ikpe Etim, OC Ukeje, Bright Wonder, Teco Benson and Kalu Ikeagwu.
Asides from the filmmaking training, participants will also be lectured by MacArthur Foundation representatives on the issue of corruption in Nigeria.
Script to Screen’s finale will feature the premiere of six short films produced by the teams. The leading films will be awarded in categories including Best Screenplay, Best Filmmaker, Best Actor and Overall Best Short Film (Team Award). Each award comes with cash prizes.
The show begins on March 24 and ends on April 21 and will air on TV channels including Wazobia Max, STV, AIT and Africa Magic.
The pan-African gameshow organised by Nigerian beverage company Malta Guinness is back for a second season.
The Maltavator Challenge will feature contestants from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia, who will compete to win US$20,000 and other prizes. The contestants will take part in both mental and physical tasks and activities.
While auditions recently took place in Oyo State capital Ibadan, the search is still on to find more contestants from other cities in Nigeria who will make it to the final stage of the competition.
Ifeoma Agu, brand manager of Malta Guinness, said: “The Maltavator Challenge is a Malta Guinness platform that showcases how consumers can turn the Malta goodness into greatness.
“This is in tandem with the brand purpose of Malta Guinness, which exists to fuel the can-do spirit of Nigerians as seen here today with the impressive turn-out of Nigerian youths in Ibadan to contest for a chance to represent Nigeria in the Pan African TV show.”
Although the air date has not yet been announced, the show will be carried by major TV stations across Nigeria and in other participating African countries.
Pan-African gameshow Maltavator Challenge, organised by Nigerian beverage company Malta Guinness, is set to take place in Lagos on December 1 at the National Stadium, Surulere.
Following auditions in Ibadan, Enugu, Abuja and Benin, the second season of the show will have its final auditions in the city of Lagos.
Contestants from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia will compete for a chance to win US$20,000 and other prizes in various mental and physical challenges and games.
The Maltavator Challenge is in search of contestants that are strong, fast and smart, who will join winners from the previous auditions to battle it out at the grand finale for the final spots on Team Nigeria.
Aspiring contestants – known as Maltavators – should arrive at the venue by 7am dressed in their sport gear to tackle the obstacle games.
Recently launched Nigerian pay TV platform Telecom Satellite Television (TSTV) has started giving out free decoders to build subscriptions, reports Gabriella Opara.
Running on the 4.5G network, the TSTV Africa decoder has 50Gb hard disk to record TV programmes, a pause/play function and 100 channels of local, regional and international programmes. The channels will air in Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ghanaian, Sierra Leonean and Liberian languages, among others.
The direct-to-home pay TV platform offers a blend of local and international channels for entertainment, including news, sports, kids, health and more.
TSTV’s CEO Bright Echefu had promised the Nigerian public that full commercial sales and operations will start this month.
Echefu, represented by head of corporate communications Ugo Magu, announced at the company’s head office in Abuja that 5,000 decoders would be distributed for free in selected states and the nation’s capital. The regular price of the decoders is N5,000.
According to Echefu, the promotional exercise is to ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of the signal strength and quality of TSTV channels and programmes across the country.
The pay TV platform aims to ensure there is uniformity in the sales of its decoders, which is why the accreditation of dealers is still continuing. Out of the 2,000 people who have applied for dealership, only 750 have been certified so far.
Magu revealed that the commercial sale and installation of the decoders will not begin until the process of dealer accreditation is complete.
Magu said: “We wish to reassure Nigerians that we remain committed to our promise to offer premium quality and affordable DTH services across the country seamlessly. We seek your further understanding and support in this value-driven course.”
He explained that the delay in the commercial distribution of decoders was to prevent sabotage by rivals. “We have not commenced commercial sales of our decoders because we are aware we are running a business easily frustrated by competition,” he said.
Magu added that TSTV has the right content and premium product to satisfy the growing demand of Nigerians.
African VoD service iRoko has launched in Ghana with a host of Ghanaian and Nigerian movies and TV series.
The company, which launched in 2010 as a YouTube channel, claims to be the world’s largest online distributor of African content.
iRoko is already available in Nigeria and South Africa, while a French-language version launched in Senegal, Cameroon, both Congos and the Ivory Coast earlier this year.
The Ghanaian service includes recent movies and TV series such as Stalemate, Ghana Must Go and Black & White. Other English-speaking territories such as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are being eyed for 2018.
The service costs GHC25 (US$5.67) for a 12-month subscription and allows users to download movies and series directly onto their phones via kiosks without using up their data.
Jason Njoku, CEO of Nigeria-based iRoko, said: “We know that our Ghanaian neighbours cannot get enough great content, but that data costs have all too often been prohibitive to them watching content online.”
A Nigerian lawmaker has urged the international community to invest in the country’s television industry and called for quality to supersede quantity in the market.
“I would urge the international community to look into the TV industry in Nigeria and invest because the potential return is huge. The time to do so is now,” said Marshal Sunday Katung, a member of the Federal House of Representatives for the Zangon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency of Kaduna State for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The current state of Nigerian TV is where it is because of the lack of investment in the industry. We are looking forward to the fact that with improved investment and content development we can take it to the next level.”
Katung’s role is to regulate and legislate on issues for the digital switchover in Nigeria and ensure a smooth transition from analogue, which has been planned since 2007. His aim is also to ensure local content is promoted, and he added that the project is on course.
“We’ve missed certain deadlines but the government is focused on ensuring the switchover moves in the right direction. The pilot scheme was launched in December 2015. We’re all excited and look forward to the transition in many more states in the country. Eventually, the entire country should be covered in the shortest possible time; that’s our hope and belief,” added Katung.
Nollywood’s popularity is one of the most exciting things to have happened to the Nigerian industry and offers variety for storytellers and producers to draw on, Katung said.
TV series have been successful in keeping viewers “glued to stations,” but Katung maintained that the focus must now to change to quality over quantity.
“We just need to create some finesse. My hope is that people should be able to view TV the way it is in Europe and the West generally, in terms of digital quality as opposed to the analogue system we currently operate,” he said.
“The biggest challenges are the lack of implementation in existing legislation, finessing the quality and more investment. We believe the issues will be addressed in the not-too-distant future, with interest shown from some western organisations and individuals.”
Katung was speaking to Content Nigeria at the recent Mipcom conference in Cannes, France, where delegates and exhibitors from Nigeria held a beachside cocktail party to promote the country’s content.