Monday, 25th September 2023

Media Showcase 2022: MultiChoice’s bumper package excites subscribers

By Sunday Aikulola
17 September 2022   |   4:08 am
For the management and staff at MultiChoice Nigeria, bringing the best in entertainment is not just about creating programmes, but providing compelling content that would make viewers stay glued to their screens and also change the Nigerian narrative.

Tope Oshunkeye Executive Head, Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria (left); Atinuke Babatunde, Academy Director, West Africa, MultiChoice Talent Factory; John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria; Dr. Busola Tejumola, Executive Head, Content, MultiChoice Nigeria and Ayo Ajala Chief Operating Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria at the MultiChoice Media Showcase 2022 in Lagos. 

For the management and staff at MultiChoice Nigeria, bringing the best in entertainment is not just about creating programmes, but providing compelling content that would make viewers stay glued to their screens and also change the Nigerian narrative.

At the 2022 Media Showcase held on Thursday, MultiChoice announced bumper coverage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and a special Big Brother Naija +SA edition for its customers on DStv and GOtv.

MultiChoice is making FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 more accessible to fans than ever before, with all 64 World Cup matches available in different vernacular languages. GOtv SUPA and SuperSport are expanding their offering for football fans by adding more language options, including Pidgin​, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Twi, Swahili, Amharic, and more.
However, Fans need to download the self-service DStv or GOtv apps to subscribe or upgrade​ their current package as soon as possible to catch all the football action coming this year.

Owing to the success of Big Brother Mzansi and Big Brother Naija, MultiChoice will this year unveil a Big Brother show like no other: a ‘contest’ between housemates from Nigeria and South Africa – in one house. With it being one of MultiChoice’s most popular franchises ever, the company is now bringing two nations together in one house​!

Speaking at the Media Showcase, Chief Executive Officer MultiChoice Nigeria and Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), John Ugbe, said, “The Special Big Brother will have only Nigerians and South Africans in one house. Just imagine the food, music and everything else. We have had people from all over Africa in one house; these are two largest economies in Africa. We at Multichoice are very proud of Nigeria and South Africa. I think it will make a very good team and the content will be very compelling.”

On the FIFA World Cup, Ugbe said, “I look forward to the world cup. For the first time, viewers would be able to change from their remote and watch the World Cup in local language commentaries— Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. There would also be pidgin commentary. For the lovers of sports, you now see the EPL comes in pidgin English. It’s a huge investment and lots of work on our part. We had to employ more people. You see how popular Africa Magic Igbo Yoruba and Hausa are. Though Nigeria did not qualify, this means one may adopt a team.”  

With a strong focus on Nigerian programming, series, and movies, Africa Magic is the industry leader in providing top-notch telenovelas, dramas, and reality shows with a unique local flavour, along with some of the biggest reality shows on the continent. Subscribers can look forward to two new series coming to Africa Magic, The Covenant and Lahira.

The Covenant follows three strangers on a journey that will not only turn their lives upside down but will also unite them for life. On the other hand, Lahira tells the story of a young girl’s fight for freedom after her village is destroyed by a group of armed men.

Speaking at the event, Academy Director, West Africa, MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), Atinuke Babatunde, said the organisation is developing local film industry across the continent in partnership with New York Film Academy.

“We remain committed to igniting Africa’s TV and film industry and enriching lives by developing and inspiring local story telling. We are not thinking of today, but the future. We are empowering future creative, not just in Nigeria, but West Africa. We are a shared value initiative. Everything we do at MTF is absolutely free. We are giving back to the society.”

She added, “At MTF Academy, we send out call to entries for registration in Nigeria and Ghana. At the beginning of the semester, we take twenty young people that we train for a year at zero cost. They don’t pay a dime. We accommodate them free of charge; pay them stipends. We give tools to work like laptop and data. It is one year of intense training. We have already graduated 40. In October, we are graduating another set.”

Babatunde informed that the organisation is building the people that will build the future, adding, “We are building those that will tell the African stories. If we are not building them now, we might struggle. But we know the future is secure, because the alumni are well equipped. They do short movies, documentaries, drama series, feature movies, music videos. They are trained in every aspect of production and filmmaking. It is not just a classroom thing; we immerse them into practical trainings. The Koro movie was done by a student in the academy and nominated as one of the best shots in the current Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA).”

For the Master Classes, she said there are no restrictions, adding, “We constantly do trainings, directing, editing, anything around filmmaking and movie production. There is also Pan Africa portals where applicants can register and relate with other creative in Africa.”

While informing that the Talent Factory is open to people between the age of 18 and 30, Babatunde noted, “You don’t need to have a degree in Theater Arts or Mass Communication. They just need to show us a bit of what they have done in the space, we then select and conduct interview. For the Master Class, there is no age limit.”

One of the beneficiaries, who spoke to The Guardian, revealed, “They have equipped us with the knowledge in the business of the creative industry. It has also grown my network tremendously.”

Executive Head, Content & West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria, Busola Tejumola, said the organsation is expanding into the West African region, adding, “We started in Nigeria, then we launched in Ghana last year and in one year, we have launched two channels. As Africa’s most loved storyteller, we have incredible packages for our viewers from Telenovela, reality shows, movies and more. We have amazing contents produced for Africans by Nigerians. Our longest running show Tinsel continues with new episodes with dramatic, rib racking and suspenseful scenes. Come Play Naija will also return in October. We are celebrating production companies and actors for their efforts.”

She further disclosed that a new telenovela, Covenant, would soon be on air by the October 3, describing it as a contemporary political vengeance production that would keep viewers at the edge of their seats.  

“Another epic telenovela is Itura, it is set in a town called Ibaokuta. It portrays the need for peace and tranquility in our communities. It is coming on October 3, on Africa Magic Showcase. The movie is very fast and rapid; James Olope produced it. Everything was built from the scratch; the village and others. The production had almost three hundred people working on it,” She disclosed.

Our Perfect Wedding, according Tejumola, is also coming back bigger and fresher. “We want to see true Naija wedding style. So, we have gone to the length and breadth of the country looking for those weddings that viewers would love to watch. The Real Housewives of Lagos is coming to Africa Magic on October 3 and October 4, on Showcase. It’s getting to the end of the year and we’ll bring the Calabar Carnivals for viewers delight live and the Akwa-Ibom Christmas Carol also live.”

She also revealed that MultiChoice would be unveiling its first local animated series this year. “We’ve been working on it for a while and it promises to be very exciting. Dianne of Big Brother is coming up with Abrahamic Company, a reverting TV series that everyone will enjoy,” She noted.

Meanwhile, with investment in digital customer journeys, MultiChoice now offers full website functionality in all its markets and gives subscribers WhatsApp self-service functionality. In addition to launching USSD functionality in its markets, it introduced a first-to-market MyDStv and USSD decoder activation on Telegram in Ethiopia that also integrates a localised payment solution.

On Showmax, viewers get endless entertainment in the form of unlimited movies, TV shows, and more, available to watch anywhere, at any time. As a fully mobile streaming service, Showmax was the first mobile-first streaming service in Africa and introduced African viewers to downloading and watching content on mobile devices for offline viewing.
Showmax is one of only two places in Africa where subscribers can stream HBO and HBO Max content, with DStv being the only other place. Showmax Pro ups the ante by giving subscribers access to music, news, and live sport via SuperSport.

The DStv’s Blue Button has been developed to enhance content discovery on the HD decoder. Located on the DStv remote, this powerful feature tracks subscribers’ viewing behaviour, allowing content offerings to be personalised according to their preferences. It not only recommends content to watch now or at a later stage based on what subscribers enjoy, but it also introduces them to a broader selection of entertainment options.