Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MultiChoice on BET: ''It didn't test very well. And since it launched in South Africa on TopTV . . . ''

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TopTV launched with BET (TopTV 190) as one of the channels on its pay TV bouquet, but BET is not a channel MultiChoice says it thinks is performing or is a channel that the pay TV operator would have added in South African anyway.

''A channel like BET – which we thought was a complete no-brainer and we don't even need to test it – we then decided we will test it,'' says Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's general manager for content. ''We wanted to understand whether that American-ness - that ''loud'' Americanness of the channel could actually work in our territories - since its first run content and never-seen-before content. We thought that BET would be a great channel for Africa,'' she says.

''We tested BET in Kenia, Nigeria and South Africa. It tested the best in Nigeria which is obviously very American focused. But in Kenia and South Africa BET didn't test well at all. And when we look at its performance in Nigeria, its also not performing. We got the question all the time, 'Why don't you have BET? Why don't you have BET?' but I must say since its launched in South Africa on TopTV . . . we would say to the supplier once a channel launches in a territory we look to see whether people then start bugging us for it - and we've had none of it regarding BET.''