Tag Archives: RTI

SABC boards SA-Ivory Coast sci-fi copro

Johannesburg-based production company Known Associates Entertainment (KAE) and Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI), the national broadcaster of Ivory Coast, have signed a deal to co-develop and coproduce a sci-fi drama series.

Joel Phiri

South African public broadcaster SABC has pre-bought Ambre (6×60’) to air in 2022, while RTI Distribution is handling sales internationally. KAE is best known as the producer of the SA version of Ugly Betty.

Ambre is produced by Matchbox Multimedia director Lebone Maema, co-created by Maema and Ivorian writer Binta Dembele and will be shot in South Africa and in Ivory Coast with actors from both countries. The language mix will comprise equal proportions of English and French, according to the producers.

The show is a futuristic action thriller about courage, hope and the heroism of youth in desperate times, according to KAE, and “epitomises the company’s vision for creating premium African global content.”

The story is anchored in the love of hip-hop music and informed by the controversial history of chemical and biological weapons in Africa, all wrapped up in the mysticism of Zulu healer Credo Mutwa’s literature.

Maema described the show as “in the vein of American Gods and Black Earth Rising.”

KAE chairman Joel Phiri said: “Through this deal, a South African production company supported by a national broadcaster will work directly with a francophone West African national broadcaster, as well as international partners, on this milestone coproduction. We are going big, superhero big, big budget-big and we are looking forward to finding other global broadcasters and distribution partners.”

Ana Ballo, director of RTI Distribution, added: “It is a real pleasure but also a real challenge to pull off such an ambitious project with our South African partner and counterparts. We really hope that this project will be backed up by both governments and by private sector sponsors to reach the level we are aiming for.”

“We continue to seek meaningful partnerships on the continent where we can co-create new formats and stories that drive African storytelling. Our aim with this partnership is to create an environment to maximise opportunities for the best ideas, talents and partnerships in an increasingly competitive and global environment,” added Renée Williams, head of local productions at SABC.

KAE was co-founded by Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri and Dan Jawitz and is the prodco behind SABC1’s hit show Ubettina Wethu, adapted from Yo Soy Betty La Fea, on which Ugly Betty is also based.

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StarTimes unveils new OTT brand

Digital TV operator StarTimes has launched a new brand, StarTimes ON, for its OTT business.

StarTimes ON claims to be Africa’s top online video streaming service, with more than 150 channels in at least 10 languages. It covers movies, series, news, music, sports, documentaries and kids’ content.

The launch has led to the upgrade of the original StarTimes app to StarTimes ON. “More excellent international and local channels will be put online, and diverse and rich contents will always be the core of StarTimes ON service,” said Ariel Lin, operation director at StarTimes ON.

Some of the top international channels available on the service include Fox News, BBC World News, France 24, Bloomberg, AMC Movies, Fox Life, Passions TV, Baby TV and NGC. StarTimes ON has also imported local content from TV stations like NTA, ZNBC, TVM, TBC, KTN, RTI and RTs.

Users can access ST Novela Plus, ST Nollywood Plus, ST Dadin Kowa, ST World Football and ST Sport Premium, plus sport including Fifa World Cup, UEFA Europa, boxing, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 matches.

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RTI chief delivers NITV keynote

Ahmadou Bakayoko at NITV Summit

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’).

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