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The Future is Messy, End of Pay-Tv as We Knew It



David Abraham, founder of Wonderhood Studios on the value chain of pay-TV has offered insights into the trends observed and how audiences across Africa are changing.


Abraham who spoke at the second day of the Digital Dialogue conference, a thought-leadership platform facilitated by MultiChoice, shared his varied experience running TV channels in the UK and the US between 2001 and 2017 – explaining how the environment for content and channel providers evolved from the early days of digital TV to the much more complex internet-based distribution environment we see today.


According to Abraham, the past used to be all about a battle between free TV and service providers’ intent on building pay-walls and maintaining exclusivity over key content in order to promote ‘big basic’ monthly subscriptions and minimise monthly churn of customers.


Then came broadband as an additional service to lock in customer loyalty, followed by mobile. “The old walls of traditional pay TV are now tumbling down and what’s coming next is infinitely more fragmented, and messy”, he remarked.


Telecoms providers compete with content platforms to build customer loyalty with original content and rights in a world where global digital competition is intensifying traditional competitive boundaries yet further. The question remains whether consumers will be able to navigate between so many different providers to find the best content in this more crowded forest of choice.


Abraham reviewed the key recent trends in UK, European and US pay TV and his talk offered a look into the future – looking at potential new models such as ‘quasi-linear’ and ‘post cable’ channels; the growth of emerging market platforms such as iflix and will consider what the long-term impact of blockchain technology could be on future models of pay TV consumption and distribution.


Abraham concluded his talk by stating that although the future is uncertain, there are many opportunities for content exploration amongst African audiences: “The African continent, with its younger populations and progressive use of mobile, can both build on and leapfrog Western markets in terms of future models of content creation and distribution”.





Note to Editors:


  • For more information, please visit and follow the social media conversation on the hashtag #DigitalDialogue2018 and tag Instagram: MultiChoice Africa; Twitter: MultiChoiceAF; Facebook: MultiChoice Africa.


Speaker Bio: David Abraham – Chief Executive of Wonderhood Studios


David has spent the past three decades working at the intersection of leadership, commerce and creativity in the UK and the United States. He is regularly cited as a prominent media executive in lists published by Variety, The Telegraph, Debretts, The Evening Standard and The Guardian. As Chief Executive of Channel 4 between 2010 and 2017 he led the organisation through a prolonged period of creative and brand renewal and public remit delivery – while also posting record revenues of £1bn in 2015 and 2016. During his tenure Channel 4 ended its reliance on Big Brother and delivered a diversified schedule including shows such as Gogglebox, The Last Leg and Educating Yorkshire. The Channel also successfully delivered the largest events in its history – the London and Rio Paralympic Games and began broadcasting Formula 1 and The Great British Bake Off while winning multiple BAFTAs and Channel of the Year Awards. David has many years of experience operating at the sharp end of editorial risk-taking in all genres of TV and film including investigative journalism, news, current affairs, comedy, drama and live events. Under his leadership Channel 4 also navigated through profound digital change by building an industry leading data strategy which today engages over 15m people across the UK via its All4 platform. Prior to Channel 4, David led UKTV where he launched its biggest Channel, Dave, (which is not in fact named after himself) and spent several years in the United States running TLC, a major cable network. David was also closely involved in the digital expansion of Discovery Channels in the UK and Europe in the early 2000’s. David has recently announced that he will be launching Wonderhood Studios in June 2018 in London.


About the Digital Dialogue Conference:


The 2018 Digital Dialogue Conference is a thought leadership platform facilitated by MultiChoice Africa in order to foster a better understanding of the future direction of the video entertainment industry in Africa. This is the 5th edition of the conference which was established in 2012 to create a better understanding of Digital Migration and its impact on Africa’s digital landscape. Since then, the independent and growing platform has been critical in fostering a better understanding and building knowledge on video entertainment and Digital terrestrial markets while creating necessary conversations with thought leaders about various industry-related issues.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Channels TV Reporter Dies in Yobe



Jonathan Gopep, Channels TV reporter in Yobe state, is dead. He died after a brief illness at Yobe State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu on Thursday.


Aged 47 years, the late Gopep was a graduate of Mass Communication from University of Maiduguri.


Late Gopep who was a reporter of Yobe State Television (YTV) joined Channels Television out of passion, at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency.


He was described by his colleagues as an excellent reporter and a perfect gentleman.


Our correspondent also gathered that he was managing himself for two weeks after being diagnosed with liver infection.


“Two days ago, his health condition continued deteriorating. He was rushed to the hospital this afternoon where he died few hours later,” his neighbour, Musa M Buba disclosed.

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Omoge Campus, Nollywood Actress Dies in Canada



Aisha Abimbola, Nollywood actress

Aisha Abimbola, Nollywood actress, popular for her role in Omoge Campus, is dead, after reportedly battling with cancer.


QED which broke the news said that the 46-year-old died in Canada on Tuesday and that the death was confirmed by fellow actress, Bisola Badmus, on Instagram on Wednesday.


“Gone so soon RIP omogecampus,” Bisola wrote.


Abimbola shot into limelight with her role in the Bola Igida’s Omoge Campus.


Before then, she had featured in Eje Adegbenro, a film produced by Jide Kosoko.


She was also popular for her roles in TV series such as Papa Ajasco and Company, Super Story and Awerijaiye.


Aisha was a recipient of the City People Entertainment Award for Yoruba Movie Personality of the Year.


Her death comes almost two years after the death of fellow actress, Moji Olaiya, who also died in Canada on May 17, 2017.

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StarTimes, SOS Children’s Villages Join Forces to Empower African Youth



Digital Television Company StarTimes Media and SOS Children’s Villages International have signed in Nairobi (Kenya) a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU’) that will see the two organizations partner towards supporting vulnerable families and children, with an emphasis on empowering youth in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’).

The MOU will see StarTimes support SOS Children’s Villages programmes in over ten African countries specifically in broadening local learning opportunities and extending diverse experiences to young people from SOS Children’s Villages programmes.

This will include technical and vocational skills training and mentorship, alongside driving access to digital television in SOS Children’s Villages programmes and benefitting from media exposure on the StarTimes platform.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. William Masy, StarTimes Group Overseas Public Relations Director, noted that the brand made a commitment to empowering youth during the YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Rwanda in 2017.

The SOS Children’s Villages partnership represents a step forward towards facilitating the entry of youth into the job market and giving them the means to create a sustainable future for themselves and society.

“StarTimes Group is committed towards empowering youth and facilitating their entry, growth and development through availing themselves of mentorship and training opportunities. This partnership with SOS Children’s Villages is therefore very strategic, as we look forward towards imparting knowledge and skills to the next generation of our leaders,” noted Mr. Masy.

In this context, SOS Children’s Villages will share resources, skills and knowledge as far as youth employability and capacity building is concerned towards the implementation of the MOU.

For young people in alternative care, their first job is not only the first step towards independence. For them, their first job is a matter of survival – the difference between an independent life lived with dignity and a life plagued with further difficulty.

In Africa, 200 million people are aged between 15 and 24 years, comprising more than 20% of the total population. Demographic rates are growing fast, which will increase the pressure countries face in terms of job creation. Of this, youth make up 37% of the working-age population, but 60% of the total number of unemployed.

Ms. Shubha Murthi, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of SOS Children’s Villages International, commented: “Partnerships make our work possible. We can only accomplish what we do for children, young people and families thanks to the generosity, commitment and amplification of our message by corporate partners such as StarTimes.

In East and Southern Africa, SOS Children’s Villages works closely with a wide range of companies and partners who have a vested interest in improving the lives of the communities they are working in. As a result, the impact of our work is stronger and more sustainable.”

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