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BBC expands programme dominance in Africa



BBC Worldwide has announced at their annual BBC Worldwide Showcase event, that it has sold over 800 hours of world class British television programming to several leading broadcasters and platforms throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Across digital, pay TV and free-to-air platforms, British drama has been the driver, with global hits including Luther, Ripper Street and Call the Midwife being most in demand.

In the past four months, BBC Worldwide has secured some of its biggest television sales deals in the territory, with SVOD platform ShowMax purchasing in excess of 250 hours of programming. Across drama, comedy, natural history and children’s programmes, audiences in sub-Saharan Africa can now look forward to enjoying classics like Absolutely Fabulous and the hugely successful War and Peace. This is the second deal with the SVOD service since it launched in August 2015.

Significant sales deals have also been secured with both pay TV and free-to-air broadcasters. StarTimes, the pay TV operator has bought over 200 hours of drama and comedy programmes, including global hit series Luther, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for the television industry in Africa. There’s an insatiable appetite for top-tier programmes.

Standard Media’s free-to-air channel KTN licensed three British drama series, Atlantis series 1 and 2 as well as Sinbad. Additionally, Mediamax Network, also in Kenya, has just liscensed the iconic Big Cat Diaries catalogue for its Kameme TV channel, which will be dubbed into the Kikuyu language, spoken by the largest ethnic group in the country.

Joel Churcher, vice president and general manager for Africa, BBC Worldwide said, “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the television industry in Africa. There’s an insatiable appetite for top-tier programmes and BBC Worldwide content, in particular our drama series, are cutting through the wealth of content available and being recognised as some of the most popular shows across the continent. Showcase will be pivotal for us as a business to capitalise on the influx of popularity for our content and formats and deliver it to an even bigger audience in 2017.

“We’re also excited to be hosting three new buyers from Africa this year. Iflix a new SVOD service across the continent, NET2 TV a key free to air channel in Ghana, and also new Pay TV platform, Econet Media Group. Each of them will get to see the very best of our new content for 2017 and also some of the best programmes in our back catalogue.”

Flourishing market

Africa as a continent has fast become one of BBC Worldwide’s most flourishing markets with a growing demand for quality BBC programmes. South Africa was the first country to carry and broadcast all five channel brands (BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, BBC First, BBC Earth and CBeebies) and since their launch in 2015 on MultiChoice’s DSTV platform, the appetite for BBC content has expanded rapidly.

Following the recent successes and interest from African broadcasters, BBC Worldwide is hoping to bring even more of its world-class premium content to viewers across the continent at its annual showcase event.

Grant Welland, executive vice president, central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, BBC Worldwide said, “The range and quality of great British shows in our catalogue is what makes Showcase one of the must attend events on the sales calendar. We’ll be celebrating the full spectrum of British drama, launching the follow-up to one of the BBC’s most successful natural history programmes, and introducing the latest series of the global hit Top Gear. With such a broad catalogue of content, it will be very exciting to see what African broadcasters will be interested in bringing back to their viewers.”

As the largest distributor of TV programming outside of the USA, BBC Worldwide Showcase sees the BBC’s commercial arm generate programme sales on behalf of the BBC and independent producers providing a major boost to British television exports.


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Nissan SA’s Whitfield given Egypt portfolio




CAPE TOWN – Nissan South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa managing director Mike Whitfield has been appointed managing director of Nissan Motor Egypt.

The Japanese-based group said yesterday that Whitfield would also serve as chairperson of Nissan in Africa South as it announced changes in its senior management structure in Africa to drive growth.

Africa is seen as the last frontier for global carmakers. The group said Whitfield would be based in Cairo and his appointment would be effective from June 20.

Whitfield, a former president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa and vice-president of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers, joined Nissan in 1981 as a marketing trainee.

Since then he has held a variety of senior positions before being appointed as Nissan SA’s managing director in 2008. “Under his leadership, Nissan posted a record market share in South Africa of more than 10 percent in the last financial year, the highest this century,” the group said.

It said Shinkichi Izumi would succeed him as the managing director of Nissan South Africa.

“Nissan has a plan for rapid and sustainable growth in Africa. We were the first to assemble cars in Nigeria and our ambition is to lead the way in developing automotive manufacturing on the continent,” said the chairperson of Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India region, Peyman Kargar.



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Smile Telecoms Appoints Ahmad Farroukh As New Group Chief Executive Officer



Irene Charnley, founder of Smile, appointed as Deputy Chairman

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, May 21, 2019 – Ahmad Farroukh, Smile Group Executive Director Operations, appointed as Group CEO; Irene Charnley, founder of Smile, appointed as Deputy Chairman.

Smile Telecoms, a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today announces the appointments of Mr. Ahmad Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Irene Charnley as Deputy Chairman, respectively, effective 1 June 2019.

Ahmad Farroukh, who currently serves as Smile’s Group Executive Director Operations, is a seasoned and experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial and operational success. Mr. Farroukh’s vast experience extends to executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group (where he served as CEO of MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and Group Chief Operating Executive, responsible for 19 countries) and immediately prior to joining Smile, as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

Hailed as one of Africa’s most successful business leaders, Smile Telecoms founder and shareholder, Irene Charnley has led the Company’s innovation and pioneering of Africa’s first 4G LTE network infrastructure, using low band spectrum in 800MHz band. thereby revolutionizing the way people in Africa accessed high speed internet. After 12 years at the helm, Ms. Charnley will now serve as Deputy Chairman for the Company and will fulfil a strategic role.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammed H. Sharbatly, Smile’s Co-Chairman and Group CEO of Smile’s majority shareholder, Al Nahla Group of KSA, said “The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad is suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich upstart to the fastest, most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa. We are equally delighted that Irene will continue to serve the company she founded as Deputy Chair, and we look forward to her ongoing strategic direction and guidance.”

“The next phase for Smile will focus on delivering excellent operational returns, achieving profitability and creating value for all stakeholders, and I believe that Ahmed is best suited to lead the Company forward in this regard”, added Irene Charnley.

“Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of one of the continent’s best 4G LTE networks at this exciting time. It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile’s proprietary technology applications platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage,” concluded Ahmad Farroukh.

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd.

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General Electric appoints Eric Amoussouga as GE Francophone Africa CEO



Eric is also Sales Director for GE’s Grid Solutions Business across Sub-Saharan Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April, 2019 — General Electric (GE) has announced the appointment of Eric Amoussouga as the Chief Executive Officer for Francophone Africa. In this position, Eric will play a pivotal role in steering the next phase of strategy and growth for GE in Francophone African markets.

Based in Abidjan, Eric will lead the development of diverse programs with public and private sector projects and partnerships across Francophone Africa.

Commenting on the appointment, Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, GE Africa, reiterated GE’s commitment to work together with government and private sector order to develop public private partnerships and sustainable outcome-based solutions.

“We are optimistic about Francophone Africa and the opportunities to develop breakthrough solutions in power, healthcare, aviation and renewable energy. We believe that the appointment of Eric is a further step in making our vision a reality. We are also glad to bring on board someone with the experience and passion required to drive our growth in this region,” he said.

Eric brings onboard 19 years of experience in the energy sector with the major players like AREVA, ALSTOM and GE and has strong expertise in energy business development and sales strategy especially in West and Central Africa.

“I am very excited to be leading GE’s regional growth in Francophone Africa and driving innovative initiatives to support the needs of GE stakeholders within the region.” Eric Amoussouga said.

Partnership with Governments and local companies form a very important part of GE’s growth in Francophone Africa and across the continent. Through these collaborations, GE has made significant investments to develop infrastructure projects, including sustainable energy solutions, provide efficient and reliable transportation as well as improve access to quality healthcare.

– GE

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