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SES, CWG Launch Maiden Digital TV Platform for West Africa

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(L-R): James Agada, Chief Technology Officer, CWG PLC; Stéphane Goebel- Head, Sales Africa and Middle East, SES Services; Jean-Pierre Kabanda, Vice-President Business Development, Africa SES; Wilfried Urner – CEO, SES Platform Services (APS) and Dayo Abegunde- Associate Vice-President, CWG PLC during the Broadcast Summit in Lagos yesterday.

SES, a global satellite company, in cooperation with Computer Warehouse Group Plc (CWG), a leading pan-African ICT company, launched a new digital television platform, on SES’s ASTRA 2F satellite, at 28.2 degrees East that would provide access to a greater number of stations to households in Nigeria and across west Africa, at a relatively low cost.

The Launching which took place alongside the Broadcast Summit, 2014 at the intercontinental hotel in Lagos yesterday witnessed the attendance of broadcasters, IT professionals, advertisers and administrators from different parts of the country.

In his opening remark, Mr. James Agada, chief technology officer, CWG Plc,  noted that true to her vision, “CWG Plc is evolving away from the traditional IT Company in the Nigerian context to becoming a utility enabler, under the CWG 2.0 initiative. 

According to him, “The brand new digital ‘Direct To Home’ (DTH) free-to-air platform is ultimately designed to help accelerate and alleviate the challenges broadcasters and content owners face in the digital migration process. The platform is packaged as an innovative approach in order to address the challenges of the cost of migration, operation, operational and support challenges, platform agility and flexibility and platform neutrality”.

The digital TV platform is a product of a collaborative effort of SES and CWG. SES will provide the space segment and specific ground services, while CWG will manage the teleport services required to project the signals to users, using high operational standards.

According to Russell Southwood, CEO, SES Balancing Act, “SES shares a partnership history with CWG that spans about ten years and CWG has proven to be a dependable teleport partner for this project”.

The SES Television platform will be the country’s first free-to-air (FTA) DTH digital TV platform.

According to Theodore Asampong, SES sales Director, Africa, “All that the subscriber is required to pay for is the cost of acquiring a decoder and installing a dish to receive broadcast signals. After this, they will have access to all channels available on the platform, without subscription fees”.

In addition, the new digital TV platform will afford broadcasters the opportunity of reaching a broader audience; millions of satellite homes in West Africa that receive broadcast signals with their dishes facing 28.2 degrees East.

This will in-turn extend their frontiers of influence and enhance their bargaining chances with prospects advertisers.

Speaking on the importance of the project, Mr. Austin Okere, founder and chief executive officer of CWG Plc, said, “For years, the majority of households in West Africa has been shut out of the digital broadcasting experience. Together with SES, we are excited to enable broadcasters to deliver their content cost-effectively, and in excellent technical quality to millions of households across the region.” 

“With the technology and platform  that SES is bringing  to Nigeria and West Africa, content can be made available to millions of household and with this system we will have over 400 channels available from the existing hundred and ten” , he said.
 
Ferdinand Kayser, chief commercial officer of SES, said, “Broadcasting via satellite provides High Definition (HD) picture quality and a100 percent coverage of even the most remote areas and regions. The long-term partnership with CWG will open up new possibilities for local and international broadcasters and allow them to drive digitalisation and reach their audiences across West Africa quickly and cost-effectively.”

The platform offers end-to-end contribution, ground and space services to local, regional, national and international TV broadcasters across West Africa at cheap rates. It will also afford broadcasters the privilege to migrate from analogue to digital TV to meet the digital migration deadline of June 2015.

Moreover, the inception of the SES TV platform will have broader social impact on the region.

According to Andy Anderson, Marketing head for Africa, SES, the project is also aimed at providing employment for unemployed youths who will be trained to install the dish needed for signal reception, for free.

According to him, “being able to perform physical activities and communicate effectively at a minimal level is all an individual require to qualify for the training”.

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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Broadcasting

Reps Mull New Broadcast Law

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House of Representatives on Thursday sought the enactment of a new broadcast law for the country to incorporate digital broadcasting.

 

Principally, the House wants the new law to clearly define the “roles and responsibilities of the Federal, State, Local Governments and the private sector.”

 

Innovations expected include legalising Digital Access Fee and Conditional Access Fee.

 

The recommendations were contained in the report of an ad hoc committee of the House, which investigated the “Process of Digital Switch Over in Nigeria.”

 

The House considered and approved the recommendations at its session presided over by Mr. Yussuff Lasun, deputy speaker, in Abuja.

 

The report was laid by Mr. Sunday Katung, committee chairman..

 

The report also sought the amendment of the National Broadcasting Commission Act to strengthen its regulatory duties and “develop a standard regulatory documentation for digital broadcasting, as contained in the White Paper report.”

 

The House added, “The NBC and the Ministry of Information should develop the proposed National Media Content Policy for Digital TV era, covering a media content Master Plan.”

 

On the manufacturing of Set Top Box for the operation of the switch over era, the House asked the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to monitor compliance with standards, “to avoid a situation where the country is turned into a dumping ground for sub-standard and obsolete equipment.”

 

It also recommended the withdrawal of the licences awarded to manufacturers to produce the boxes if they fail to establish plants in the country.

 

The House noted that the idea of establishing plants in the country was to generate employment opportunities for its army of unemployed youths.

 

The House called for a thorough supervision of the ongoing implementation of the DSO in phases and directed that “at least 80 per cent of an assigned state” should be covered before moving to another state.

 

It also directed that “analogue broadcasting should not be switched off until 95 per cent DSO coverage is achieved in the country.”

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Somkele In A New DStv Explora Commercial

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By peter oluka

MultiChoice Nigeria has unveiled a brand new campaign for itsdecoder, the DStv Explora 2 which features its latest brand ambassador, AMVCA 2017 Trailblazer award winner, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama.

The 60 second video highlights the featuresof the all new sleeker decoder model, which Somkele animatedly discloses through different scenes; revealing that with the instant replay, pause and record features, the Explora gives her more flexibility and the ultimate home entertainment control.

With other features such as the BoxOffice and Catch Up Plus, customerscan conveniently rent and watch latest blockbuster movies on their Explora decoders. Theycan get instant access and double the number of amazing lineup of the latest and greatest shows and movies once their Explora is connected to the internet.

Martin Mabutho, the general manager, Marketing and Sales, MultiChoice said: ‘’The DStv Explora gives customers more control over their viewing experience. We believe in delivering value to our customers by shaping the business to respond to our customers’ needs. The new decoder is poised tochange viewing experience with more options and features with a click of a button’’.

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Kwesé TV, TV One Sign 3-Year Exclusive Broadcast Deal

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Kwese TV Africa’s Dynamic satellite TV network, has signed an exclusive broadcast deal which will see the addition of TV One content to its programming.

With a brand promise to represent the best of African American culture and entertainment, past, present and future, TV One content soon will be available to Kwesé TV viewers across the continent.

The addition of TV One programming adds a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series and movies.

Econet Media President and CEO, Joseph Hundah, comments on the deal: “We are always looking for fresh, rich and entertaining content to add to our line-up, thus the addition of TV One to our bouquet is great feat,

“The network’s compelling and distinctive programming will help broaden and strengthen the diversity of our international content offering. We are confident TV One’s high-quality and well-rounded content will captivate viewers across the continent.”

The three year partnership will see in excess of 25 of TV One’s most popular titles and series, including When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, Love Under New Management: The Mikki Howard Story, The Black List and sitcoms Born Again Virgin and  Love That Girl.

Michelle Rice, TV One’s Interim General Manager and EVP, said “We thank Kwesé for its partnership and commitment to offering their consumers an opportunity to experience the best in African American culture and entertainment,”

 “We are delighted thatKwesé TV viewers will now have access to TV One’s robust slate of informative and entertaining original programming created with the urban audience in mind.”

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