From humble beginnings in 2005 with just three channels on the DStv bouquet, Viacom International Media Network is celebrating a decade on the continent with 10 channels, showcasing Africa to the world and bringing the best in international entertainment to Africa.
Channels like MTV Base and Comedy Central have been creating hundreds of hours of local content for a wide variety of platforms and together with the network’s other channels, showcase African popular culture to an audience of
9.5 million viewers on the DStv and GOtv platforms. The MTV African Music Awards are seen by more than half a billion people worldwide, and with more local productions in the pipeline, the future of African entertainment is bright.
Speaking at roundtable organised for journalists at the MultiChoice Content Showcase, the Evert van der Veer, Senior Channel Director: Comedy Central announced the Comedy Central International Festival, an event which will see the best comedians from across the continent invited to Johannesburg, South Africa early in 2016 to join up with talent from the UK and USA for an epic feast of comedy. There’s also another Comedy Central Roast in the works, which will take the brand outside of South Africa for the first time.
Nickelodeon Senior Channel Manager Tasania Parsadh also spoke about the channel’s new app, Gameshakers, launched on 1 Sep, which brings the ‘second screen’ to life and can be played globally, at any time. Nickelodeon Genius will also be launched shortly – Nicktoons’ first game show, which seeks to inspire kids in the fields of mathematics & science. “We believe everything is fun and interesting, so we’ve created an amazing game show which makes these difficult subjects, fun,” said Parsadh. “We really want kids, parents and teachers to get involved.” Nickelodeon also shared news of a West African edition of the hugely-popularNickFest, which will see pre-schoolers, kids, teens and their parents entertained in true Nickelodeon style – with the iconic Nickelodeon Slime sure to be a star attraction!
From MTV Base, comes new prank show You Got Got and the fourth season of MTV Shuga – outside of the hugely-respected MTV MAMA’s, which have put Africa’s top entertainers on the global stage. “Very few brands can talk about the amazing talent and contemporary youth culture space like MTV Base,” said Tim Horwood, Channel Director MTV Base. “We’re constantly trying to grow and push new talent and celebrate the continent’s big artists. We have a show called Rate or Hate coming soon, which will give artists who don’t make it onto the playlist, the chance to get some exposure online and in promos on-air. People will be able to vote for them, and if the audience demands it, they’ll get their shot on the channel.” Horwood also announced that an East African Chart Show would be launched in 2016 to showcase the amazing things happening in the East African music scene.
The newest member of VIMN family on DStv – BET – is also growing and incorporating more local content. Top Actor SAproduced excellent talent, so the show is being expanded to Top Actor Africa to broaden the search for African acting and presenting talent. Announcements about the audition process will be made soon and the show will begin flighting early in 2016. Kgomotso Matsunyane, Channel Manager BET said the channel was particularly excited to have launched BET Buzz on 1 September – a daily show which showcases all the glitz and glamour of the African and international entertainment scenes. A continental version of the prestigious Black Girls Rock event is also on the cards and will form part of BET’s impressive tentpole music awards events, which include the BET Hip Hop Awards, the Soul Train Awards, the BET Awards and the international version of Black Girls Rock. The 4th season of Real Husbands of Hollywood, starring Kevin Hart, is coming soon, as is Being Mary Jane.
Press conference facilitator, MTV Base VJ Nomuzi, also spoke about Viacom’s talent development program – a project she, herself, is a product of, having win the 2012 MTV Base VJ Search. “It changed my life – I stood in line for hours and hours to get my chance, and now I work for hours and hours, living my dream,” she said.
The MultiChoice Africa Content Showcase is a dynamic 5-day content extravaganza, which sees a host of DStv’s and GOtv’s biggest channels, including Sony, SuperSport, Zee World, A+E, Disney, MTV Base, BET, Comedy Central, BBC and M-Net previewing their latest and greatest content, soon to be seen across the video entertainment services provider’s platforms. To keep track of happenings at the MultiChoice Africa Content Showcase, follow @multichoice_africa on Instagram, @mcashowcase on Twitter, or via #OnlyTheBest.