Sub-saharan African satellite pay TV service provider, Multichoice, wants to start broadcasting more Namibian content, including sports following the May launch of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF),
aimed at igniting and growing Africa's creative industries into vibrant, economic centres.
DStv and GOtv have invested heavily in most African countries while only a small amount of Namibian content is aired on the two platforms.
In Nigeria and Ghana, for example, GOtv sponsors boxing, with fights broadcast live on SuperSport, while Zambia’s football has a sponsorship agreement with SuperSport, just like in South Africa.
Notable Namibian content that has been aired on SuperSport include the Super Sport Rugby Challenge match between Windhoek Draught Welwitschias and Steval Pumas at the Hage Geingob Stadium last year and the fight between Paulus ‘Rock’ Ambunda and Moises Flores at the Ramatex Factory in Windhoek in 2016 for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) World Super Bantamweight titles (which Ambunda lost.)
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Levana Cloete, MultiChoice Namibia Corporate Affairs Manager, said MTF will not only focus on sport, but also on film and local music.
“In terms of Namibian sport, we have showcased a number of sports events on our platforms that resonate with viewers across the continent, including the Nedbank Desert Dash, the Windhoek Lager Namib Quest Mountain Bike Challenge and the 2017 match between the Windhoek Draught Welwitschia’s and the Steval Pumas which took place at Hage Geingob Stadium,” Cloete said.
She emphasized that local content can only be broadcast if it meets the guidelines and SuperSport requirements.
“As the continent’s leading funder of sport and local production, we’ve built skills and capacity to become the backbone of content that matters to our customers. Through the MultiChoice Talent Factory initiative, Namibian students will leave the Academy with the knowledge and skills to contribute professionally to the film and television industry, including sports production.
“As a provider of pay-television sports coverage across the continent of Africa, content selections are based on sports that resonate with viewers across the region and the continent at large,” Cloete said.
The MTF Academy students will be provided with skillsets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.
“During the course of the program, MTF Academy students will produce content that will be aired on SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms and they will be equipped with the know-how on sports production.”
In 2015, The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) signed a new contract for the sponsorship and broadcast of the MTN Super League for five years that was worth US$5 million.
According to media reports from Ghana, MultiChoice Ghana earlier this year said it has contributed over US$23 million towards Ghana’s GDP in the last three years.
“MultiChoice Africa, with the launch of Africa Magic in 2015 has invested over U$ 2.1 million in the creative industry and worked with over 50 content owners in Ghana. In the past five years, we have also invested over US$3million in local sports broadcasting mainly in soccer, boxing and athletics,” MultiChoice Ghana board chairman, Richard Darko, was quoted as saying.
SuperSport in Nigeria spent an average of 6 billion Naira annually in the last nine years for both broadcast rights and production before it ended its relation with the Nigerian Professional Football League last year due to alleged breach of contract.