Tag Archives: Trace Studios

Trace, MultiChoice in distribution deal

France-based producer and distributor Trace Studios and South Africa’s MultiChoice Studios have struck a distribution partnership aimed at bringing African content to global audiences.

Olivier Laouchez

The deal will give both companies access to a wider audience in multiple languages and regions, according to the firms.

New markets will be explored for MultiChoice Studios’ content and the company will provide Trace Studios with close to 1,000 hours from its catalogue to distribute in English-, French-, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking markets around the world.

In addition, Trace Studios’ distribution arm will represent a select catalogue of MultiChoice Studios content in the rest of the world, excluding Africa, and will expand its commitment to promoting and representing African IP on a global scale.

Olivier Laouchez, group CEO and chairman of 20-year-old, TPG Growth-backed Trace, said: “Trace Studios is very excited about this new finished-programme distribution partnership with MultiChoice.

“With MultiChoice, we share the same ambition to take African culture to the world. MultiChoice’s catalogue includes some of the best made-in-Africa narratives and stories that resonate to all. The Trace Studios team is fully committed to bringing this great content to all broadcasters and platforms that want to make the difference and offer unique African experiences to their audiences and subscribers.”

Reiterating that Trace Studios had worked with MultiChoice Studios on key titles that could align with a global market, while also looking at existing titles that have not been seen outside of Africa, Mauro Black, director of media sales at MultiChoice-owned DStv, said: “Keeping up with the demand for MultiChoice’s proudly African content is achieved through strategic partnerships. We are excited about Trace Studios being added to our global distribution network.”

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Ultimate Braai Master S8 to debut

South African reality cooking show The Ultimate Braai Master is coming back for an eighth season.

Peter Goffe-Wood and Benny Masekwameng

The show is produced by Trace Studios and will air on South African free-to-air TV channel ETV at 17.00 from February 5, 2023.

The 13-episode new season celebrates South Africa’s diversity and involves pairs competing against each other in various braai challenges. During the show, teams are eliminated while the winning one wins prizes and a chance to be called the Ultimate Braai Master.

“We put the best braaiers from all over South Africa against each other. There are a series of tough challenges set in some of the most beautiful landscapes South Africa offers. The teams need to battle it out one challenge at a time to see who will take home the Ultimate Braai Master Crown,” said the organisers.

The judges for the show include celebrity and food enthusiast Peter Goffe-Wood and chef Benny Masekwameng.

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The Real Housewives arrive in Cape Town

The Real Housewives of Cape Town

NBCUniversal format The Real Housewives is set to launch its fourth local African adaptation, The Real Housewives of Cape Town, on the Mzansi Magic channel next month.

The news comes after the successful debuts of previous iterations The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, The Real Housewives of Durban and The Real Housewives of Lagos on the MultiChoice-owned network.

The Real Housewives of Cape Town, which will debut on July 10 at 19.00, features a group of powerful and affluent women who are beloved, enigmatic and often misunderstood.

They represent diverse social backgrounds and are an eccentric mix of new and old money, connected by one common thread: their desire to run the Mother City.

The shows features Beverley Steyn, a property owner and investor with a love of planes, yachts, fast cars and a luxury lifestyle; Rushda Moosajee, a qualified trainer and mother of three with a fitness empire and an impressive social media presence; Loveline Abinokhauno, a proud wife of 14 years, blogger, momfluencer and entrepreneur; and Thato Montse, a wine connoisseur.

Other participants are Camilla McDowell, also known as the Queen of Constantia; Kutazwa ‘Rooksy’ Gqirana, a proud Capetonian and self-described hustler; and Lulwando ‘Lue’ Tukwayo, a free-spirited property entrepreneur, digital creator, chartered accountant and mother of three.

Ana Langenberg, senior VP of format sales and production at NBCUniversal Formats, said: “We are elated to continue to build on the monumental success of The Real Housewives franchise in Africa with this latest instalment. The spirit of Cape Town and the unique energy this series will bring will deliver an addictive and unmissable experience and we can’t wait for audiences around the world to experience it.”

“We look forward to premiering this exciting new addition on Mzansi Magic, which will no doubt keep our audience hooked and will undoubtedly be of the premium quality our viewers have grown accustomed to,” added Shirley Adonisi, director of local entertainment channels at MultiChoice’s M-Net.

“This may be a global franchise, but our spin on it is very much South African. The story lines explored on the show and the cast’s lives are as authentic as they come. As a channel, keeping up with our viewers’ tastes and preferences is important, and this is evidence of that.”

Produced by Trace Studios, The Real Housewives of Cape Town marks the 17th international version of the franchise, the fourth to be adapted in Africa and the third South African instalment.

The Real Housewives format began life in the US on NBCUniversal-owned cable channel Bravo in 2006 as The Real Housewives of Orange County. The format is shopped internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group.

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SA’s Trace Studios partners Media Ranch

In The Ultimate Braai Master, participants catch and cook their own food

Recently formed Trace Studios in South Africa has formed a global distribution partnership with Montreal-based format production and distribution company Media Ranch.

Trace Studios was formed earlier this year following Trace’s acquisition of Cape Town-based Okuhle Media Studios, which was merged with Trace’s content production and distribution operations.

Media Ranch will now distribute Trace Studio’s formats, which include South African reality shows 2 Weddings & a Superstar and The Ultimate Braai Master. Its paper formats include the reality series Any Objections? and Trendsetters.

The deal was brokered by Barbara Bellini, Trace’s senior international consultant. It follows similar agreements between Media Ranch and companies such as DR in Denmark and FormatEast in South Korea.

Trace was created in France in 2003 and describes itself as an Afro-urban platform for youth entertainment, with a portfolio that includes 26 TV channels and a streaming platform.

Sivan Pillay, the former Endemol Shine Africa boss who became CEO of Trace Studios in January, said: “We look forward to a long-term mutually beneficial relationship where we can break new ground and continue in our pursuit to create more opportunities for African based IP.”

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Trace appoints Endemol veteran CEO

Former Endemol Shine Africa CEO Sivan Pillay has been appointed boss of the newly formed Trace Studios in South Africa.

Sivan Pillay

Trace Studios is the result of the acquisition by Trace of Cape Town-based Okuhle Media Studios, which has been merged with Trace’s content production and distribution operations.

Pillay has been tasked with establishing Trace Studios as a premium creator, producer and distributor of TV and film content for Africa and the world.

The company produces a range of content, including branded content, unscripted programming and scripted drama series.

Pillay joined Endemol South Africa in 2000 after beginning his career in the music industry, becoming managing director in 2008. He was later named CEO of Endemol Shine Africa after the merger between Endemol and Shine.

He worked on a slate that included Big Brother Africa, Isidingo, Survivor South Africa, Fear Factor and Deal or No Deal and has served as executive producer on over 125 TV shows and commercial partnerships in Africa.

After his Endemol years and until the end of 2021, Pillay was the founder and CEO of 360 Degrees South and Zero Gravity TV & Media, where he developed over 40 TV formats that will be part of the Trace Studios format catalogue.

Olivier Laouchez, Trace Group’s executive chairman, said: “Content is about talent. Having a talent like Sivan is a major step to realise one of Trace’s key objectives to be a leader in independent audiovisual production.”

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