The Nigeria International Television Summit (NITVS) kicked off today with a keynote speech from Ahmadou Bakayoko, director general of Radiodifussion-Télévision Ivoirenne (RTI).
Bayakoyo, who runs the Ivory Coast’s public broadcaster, discussed the various issues pay TV companies are faced with in the African continent. According to him, consumers value content aired on pay TV networks but do not give a thought to the costs of operations and production.
He also stated that the advent of more technology-driven innovation has created stiff competition, thereby causing loss of revenue for those companies. “More technology is coming that breaks the geographical barrier and pay TV companies can hardly make money when their programmes air on YouTube before they officially launch it,” he said.
He further stated: “Telcos are a threat to us because they have the money to create content. They say data but it’s video and people love video content they can easily access.”
However, despite the challenges he mentioned, Bakayoko suggested solutions that could help sustain companies in the television industry. He said the three keys to sustaining the pay TV business is securing talent, forming relationships and being innovative.
“The biggest asset in this industry is talent; it gives an extra edge and passion. Therefore, the solution is to secure a relationship with your talents, nurture them and satisfy them to ensure they don’t just go to the highest bidder because of the relationship they have with you.”
He added: “Whereas, innovation is also very key, as important as international cooporation. Even the bigger players make mergers and partnerships, locally and internationally.”
RTI is the publicly owned radio and TV authority of Ivory Coast. It is financed through a combination of TV and radio licences, advertisements and taxes.
Earlier this year, RTI signed what is thought to be the first TV coproduction deal between Ivory Coast and South Korea, RTI Distribution, the distribution arm of RTI, sealed the deal with Seoul-based PlayOnCast to coproduce drama series Abidjan City Club (30×26’).