BusinessDay

MultiChoice: Going beyond content to deepening cultures of Africa’s biggest economies

The management of MultiChoice, owners of the two leading pay TV networks in Nigeria converged on Lagos for what it terms ‘The Greatest Showcase’ on Thursday 15 September, at the Bics Garden, Lekki.

The Media showcase 2022, for many in attendance, was beyond the announcement of things to come on MultiChoice’s DStv and GOtv channels ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the next Big Brother reality TV show. It was rather a time to show the Nigerian media professionals present at the showcase that the pay TV brand is not just interested in deepening its bottom line for its investors; as it is equally deeply interested in deepening and bridging the cultural divide of Africa’s biggest economy.

As a way of switching things up for its subscribers, the MultiChoice Group has proposed a new Big Brother show. This time, it’s Big Brother Naija + SA. Housemates will be made up of Nigerians and South Africans. Similarly, the brand is also offering viewers on its channels the opportunity to choose any of four local language commentary options for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The languages are Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and Pidgin English and they will be available to all DStv and GOtv subscribers.

“MultiChoice is excited to bring every single fan, all the action in their language, along with local commentary. To add value to all our customers, we are making all 64 World Cup matches, available in 14 different local languages including Pidgin, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa,” John Ugbe, the CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said during the media showcase on Thursday, disclosing that the show will be happening “sometime next year”.

He disclosed that for the first time, during the World Cup, subscribers on DStv and GOtv will be able to change from their remote to listen to commentaries in all the major languages. We did it with African Magic. And now, we are taking it fully into football”.

Even though Nigeria will not be featuring at the World Cup this year, the brand is connecting with its viewers to deepen their experience of the Qatar 2022 World Cup billed to kick off on November 20 through December 18.

The Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, while the host in group A alongside Ecuador, Senegal, and the Netherlands. Group B consists of England, Iran, USA, and Wales while Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland make up group C.

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France, the defending champions, will face Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia in group D. Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, and Japan make group E the toughest in the competition. Group F has Belgium, Canada, Morocco, and Croatia while group G includes Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon.

However, speaking on the special the special Big Brother edition, Ugbe said it will be more intense with housemates from Nigeria and South Africa. “The next Big Brother edition will have housemates from the two giants of Africa, Nigeria, and South Africa, together in one house. This is designed to be a unifying experience of culture, personalities, and entertainment, highlighting what we both have in common. The prizes promise to be as massive as the entire show itself – both in cash and other sponsored prizes,” Ugbe said.

Busola Tejumola, the executive head of content, MultiChoice Nigeria, touching on the investment by MultiChoice in growing content offering for customers’ pleasure, said customers will be spoiled for choice in the coming months, as the company will be unveiling a chain of new programmes on its Africa Magic channels.

Highlighting some of the new content customers can look out for, Tejumola said popular comedy series, The Johnsons, will return for the new season which will honour the show’s late cast, Ada Ameh.

Speaking further, she said customers should look out for a new 260-episode local series ‘The Covenant’, and another 260-episode local series titled ‘Itura’, starting from October 3. She added that the popular Africa Magic series, ‘Tinsel’, and ‘The Rishantes’, will also make a return in a few weeks.

“For the holidays, our holiday channel will go live in November and will be showing some global events and carnivals. The Calabar Carnival in Cross River State will be live on this channel. Also, Crime and Justice Lagos will premiere on Showmax later this year. Customers can also look out for our first local animation series coming soon,” Tejumola said.

With over 1000 hours of brand new content and 50 titles, new series are coming soon to viewers, while the holiday channel will return at the end of the year, giving viewers the best seat at the biggest concerts from the Calabar carnival to the Experience and the Akwa Ibom Carole.

According to her, MultiChoice is telling African stories through movies, animations, reality shows and more. The myDStv and myGOtv app now have games that customers can play, including new games about the world cup that will be available soon.

“If you are a premium customer, and you rent movies at the box office and watch Showmax; you’ll get two ‘Gold remote’ and be invited to the biggest events. You’ll also get one box office movie for free per month”.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF)

The MTF is a shared-value initiative founded in May 2018 in Lagos that provides a platform for the creative industries to develop their talent and engage with one another through their shared passions. This initiative has a multi-tiered approach, namely; the MTF Portal, the MTF Academies and MTF Industry Masterclasses.

The MTF creates a networking opportunity that allows content creators to connect with other creatives across Africa, and hosts 20 students per session and gives accommodation and stipend, and laptops with data for the classes. MTF also runs masterclasses that are open to everyone. The factory has recorded 68 percent businesses registered post MTF and a 100 percent graduation rate since inception.

The MTF aligns with MultiChoice Africa’s legacy to showcase Africa’s diversity and rich culture through the continent’s deep-rooted storytelling history. The African entertainment industry is at the core of the brand’s offerings. MultiChoice Africa recognises the critical role it can play in building and strengthening the creative industries across Africa; its 17 local M-Net channels are available in a variety of regional languages, telling original African stories.

As a business born and bred in Africa, MultiChoice has a long-term commitment to making a socio-economic difference; playing a key role alongside the government and other stakeholders, businesses and civil society in growing Africa’s creative industries into vibrant, economic hubs.

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