The Best International & Hyperlocal Stories and a Digital Ecosystem – the future is now!
With a subscriber base of 21 million customers, a footprint in 50 countries across Africa and a content library of over 66 000 hours of local content – MultiChoice is well-positioned to carve out a flourishing future as more than the continent’s biggest funder of locally-produced content.
On Thursday (25 November), Africa’s biggest video entertainment company held its MultiChoice Showcase. Aptly themed About Tomorrow, the showcase presented the Group’s forthcoming content attractions and charted an evolutionary path for the broadcaster.
MultiChoice’s ambition to tell stories that resonate with our customers, in their language and featuring characters they identify with drives our hyper-local content strategy, while developing industries across the African continent and helping take proudly African stories to global audiences.
“MultiChoice is home to over 42 local channels across the continent, each designed and curated to cater for regional tastes whilst simultaneously creating a platform to cross pollinate regional content,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Video at MultiChoice Group. “Our General Entertainment stable continues to command the lion’s share of viewership across the DStv Platform as we roll out our owned formats across Africa, strengthen our relationships with global co-production partners and continue to expand our repertoire”.
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In terms of highlights for the past year, the local and global crossover appeal of our content is illustrated most recently by Chasing the Sun and Reyka. The former was the best-performing documentary on M-Net last year, drawing over 1.2 million viewers across DStv linear and the DStv app and was acquired by Sky Sports for broadcast in other territories. The latter is set to be available in 80 territories, with broadcasters and streamers including CBC (Canada), SBS (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), Sky Italia, Britbox (North America), Channel 4 (UK), HBO (Latin America) and Canal+ (Poland and France).
“The success of our own formats is testament to the power of our hyper-local strategy,” says Phahle. “It’s a winning formula that we’ll continue to focus on as we produce thousands of hours of local content every year for our viewers to immerse themselves in”.
Local South African Flavour
Looking forward to 2022, the big news on Mzansi Magic is the return of Big Brother Mzansi Season 3 in 2022 – with 24-hour coverage of a group of strangers living with each other in Biggie’s house and competing for the biggest ever prize of R2 million. Big Brother Mzansi will be broadcast across the African continent.
The fourth season of MasterChef South Africa comes to M-Net on 28 February, exactly a decade after the first season aired. Looking to inspire and shape the next generation of food stars, the series will be filmed at the foot of Table Mountain in a dynamic new location that celebrates both the heritage and the innovation of South Africa’s diverse culinary offering.
In Recipes for Love & Murder (March), we follow the adventures of recipe advice columnist Tannie Maria and her colleague, rookie journalist Jessie, as they try to solve this small-town Karoo murder and catch the killer.
Survivor South Africa is also making an international splash, with producers Afrokaans elevating the local version to sit alongside the very best in the world. Seasons 6, 7 and 8 of Survivor SA have just been sold into Australia; the UK and USA, putting this world-class product in front of a new global audience. In 2022, Survivor SA returns for its 9th season – and this time the greatest game on earth will see a cast of returnee outcasts battle it out to outlast and become the Sole Survivor. Get ready for Survivor SA: Return of the Outcasts – on M-Net in July 2022.
In 2022, popular Afrikaans channel kykNET will continue in delivering the cliffhangers and mystery with the Die Byl S4 and Projek Dina returning for a second season. A new season of Spoorloos is currently in development with a story set behind the backdrop of a small coastal town.
Debuting is Abasemzini, a bootcamp series which takes 4 pairs of mothers and daughters-in-law and put in a house to sort out their differences. This is done at the request from the one man they have in common – the mother’s beloved son and our bride’s husband. Also new is Makoti, where four women move in with their soon-to-be mother in-laws to prove they are worthy wives for their sons.
There are also plenty of new, homegrown series coming to Mzansi Wethu in 2022, including Bangoxoshile, Not The One For You, Siza Mina and Fafi.
Africa-first streaming service Showmax is going big on local content for 2022 – and beyond – with a host of firsts from the four corners and many languages of the continent.
These include first seasons of the epic fantasy Blood Psalms, the reality series The Real Housewives of Lagos, docu-series Sex in Afrikaans, and the survival horror Pulse, as well as second seasons of The Real Housewives of Durban, the Kenyan police procedural and legal drama Crime and Justice and the romantic comedy Troukoors, and new seasons of the debut Showmax Original telenovela, The Wife, not to mention a three-film post-apocalyptic film slate, led by the critically acclaimed Glasshouse.
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Local Entertainment Across Africa
Coming to Maisha Magic Bongo in East Africa in 2022 are new shows, including Sinia – a drama about two wealthy families and the secrets and lies that are hidden beneath the glitz and glamor, Danga – about street-smart conmen Pipi, Angel and Mo who will stop at nothing to deceive the richest man in town, and La Familia, where after enjoying four decades of prosperity, Mr & Mrs Ibrahim must pay a heavy price.
On Maisha Magic Plus, Tuko Talks sees Lynn Ngugi engage people from all walks of life in raw and tell-all conversations about their past, pain and joy.
A Pearl Magic Prime highlight to look forward to is Chapterz, which exposes a seemingly perfect family’s hidden skeletons. On Zambezi Magic, Wanilata is a reality dating show in which singletons get the chance to connect with their crush. Every episode sees the contestants go on a date, with the final question being: “Do you love me?”
On Abol TV, Adey is a riveting dram series that shows the multiple facades of life behind the backdrop of 2 separate families that are somehow connected with a 17-year-old girl.
Maisha Magic Poa (DStv Channel 144) was launched 1 October 2021 and is available on the all new POA package, which is tailormade to give more customers access to exhilarating content at a competitive price.
The latest localised version of the hit MultiChoice format, Date My Family Ghana, is a reality dating show that helps singletons find love by sending them on dates with their potential partner’s family.
Biggie is back again on Africa Magic (Nigeria) with a 7th season of Big Brother Naija (June 2022), which will once more test a group of isolated housemates with a series of tasks as they compete for a large cash prize.
The Mozambique market can look forward to the launch of Maningue Magic on DStv Ch 503 on the 17th of January 2022. The channel is set to deliver the much-anticipated local telenovela, Maida, local lifestyle show, Txunado, local drama The Influencer, as well as Boss Station, a Mozambiquan original music show. Viewers can also expect to see a local version of Date My Family.
In Angola, customers will be spoilt with weekly comedy shows as well as a dubbed telenovela through the launch of Kwenda Magic on DStv Channel 502, also on 17 January 2022.
“If there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Africans love to see themselves on television. This is evident in our increased viewership, which can only mean that our storylines are speaking to people on a personal level. When local programmes such as The Queen and The River are on-air, Twitter is abuzz. We remain Africa’s Most Loved Storyteller and no matter where in the world people are, they still want to hear their home languages represented on television.”
More than a Broadcaster
Building on its success in video entertainment, MultiChoice is looking ahead and exploring new avenues.
The Group has already started integrating third-party platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube onto it’s Explora Ultra. Customers do not have to leave the MultiChoice platform to access these streaming services and the uptake has been great. We have embarked on a journey of looking at adjacent businesses that can be added to our existing offering, so customers stay on our platforms while still being able to access products outside of video entertainment.
DStv Internet launched in South Africa late in the year and is taking off – as is sports betting company, Kingmakers, formerly known as BetKing – which is leveraging the Group’s sports rights. We have already introduced decoder and funeral insurance to our customers.
The expansion of MultiChoice’s ecosystem is underpinned by technology. Customers are looking for products and services that drive convenience, solve their challenges, and enrich their lives – whether this is through video entertainment, sports betting, connectivity, or other services. The Group also recently invested in personal security platform AURA.
At MultiChoice, the future is clear: continue growing its subscriber base on the linear side and online platforms, with a deliberate focus on partnerships with technology-driven businesses that can address the everyday needs of Africans on the continent.
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