Yanga! seeking drama, reality

By Ryan Watson
April 12, 2018


Yanga!, the UK channel that targets African diaspora, has been at the MipTV market in Cannes this week on the hunt for high-end drama and reality content.

The channel, which launched four weeks ago, is run by Africa MediaWorks MD Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International, who said “top quality, contemporary West African drama” was top of her content agenda.

“We’re also interested in some fun reality programmes if we can find the right ones. We have a few in mind we’re looking at from Nigeria but we’re interested in Ghanaian programming and really anything from Africa that’s English-speaking,” Oliver said.

Yanga! is currently available on Sky and Freesat in the UK and Oliver said any content the channel does pick up this week probably needs to be on an exclusive basis to make it destination viewing for its audience.

“We’re only four weeks in but, as we go, we’re already adapting the programming line-up we’ve got. We’re finding that some shows inevitably work better than others so we’re on the hunt for some new, compelling content to launch in the autumn,” she added.

“Our demographic is keen on celebrity and high fashion. We want things that are fun, dynamic and have lots of energy.”

Yanga! has also been shopping its own programming slate this week, which includes a range of factual shows. “We’re making lots of different series,” said Oliver. “We have a comedy series called Number 6, a children’s series called Fizzi and a young people’s Afro beats music chatshow called Turn Up.”

While commissioning content is not yet in Yanga!’s plans, Oliver said it would be an option in the future.

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