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TELEVISION

Has struggling MultiChoice been thrown a financial lifeline?

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

French TV company Canal+ aims to buy African broadcaster, saying greater scale and more local stories will see off global streaming giants.

MultiChoice, the South African-based TV company that operates throughout Africa, could be thrown a financial lifeline by the purchase offer from French television group, Canal+.

Photo credit: MultiChoice 

As competition from internet-streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon increases – and some cash-strapped African consumers elect to forego pay TV altogether – MultiChoice is seeing its revenue dwindling.  

 

The US$1.7-billion offer by Canal+ to purchase the balance of MultiChoice’s shares (it already owns almost a third) may give MultiChoice the muscle it needs to enhance its programming offering to African consumers and fight off the competition.  

 

Certainly, this is the angle being touted by Canal+ Chairperson and CEO, Maxime Saada, in his public statements.   

 

“For MultiChoice to continue to thrive in Africa it will require a strategy that enhances its scale as well as strengthened local and global expertise,” Saada says. 

 

“Combined with Canal+, MultiChoice would have the resources to invest in scale, local African talent and stories, and best-in-class technology, to allow it to grow in Africa and compete with the global streaming-media giants.” 

 

African media businesses must become bigger 

 

In an opinion piece published today (Friday, 2 February 2024) in South Africa’s Business Day newspaper, Saada calls for African media businesses to become bigger in every way, to ensure survival. 

 

“For more than a century, American and European stories dominated first film and then television. Many of their stories have already been told – over and over again on repeat,” he states. 

 

“Yet there are thousands, millions maybe, of unique African stories that have never been told. The world does not know them. But if we put real money behind high-quality production, these unique African stories could have universal appeal and commercial success.” 

 

Saada claims the Canal+ investment in African TV productions differs from that of other global broadcasters, who buy 100% ownership of the content, leaving the local production house with no enduring ownership interest in their creation. 

 

“However, at Canal+ we often invest directly in the production companies, leaving them with an ownership share of the future success of the drama, film or production they created,” he says. 

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.