Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DATELINE LAGOS: As Africa's TV, film and pay-TV industry develops and opens up, there's huge opportunities for Africans,' says M-Net.

As Africa's TV, film and pay-TV industry develops at an incredibly rapid pace and opens up with an influx of foreign television and film companies, international distributors and content suppliers who are all opening local regionalised African offices, there's huge opportunities for Africans to enter and grow in this industry, says M-Net.

In Lagos, Nigeria, TV with Thinus asked Biola Alabi, M-Net Africa's managing director for special projects, what she thinks and makes of the growing interest in Africa's television, film and pay-TV market.

Biola Alabi is responsible for the AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards which just saw its second award ceremony this past weekend, and is the hand behind shows such as the continental Big Brother Africa.

There has been and continues to be a rapid deployment of representatives from multinational TV and content distributors, creators and suppliers, who are all suddenly creating and sending executives to various African regions and cities to be permanently based there and to start representing their companies locally, on the ground in the pay-TV, film and TV sectors.

"The world is discovering the film and TV industries across the continent; what is happening is that as Africans grow and economies become more consumer-based, we're going to see more and more people coming in," says Biola Alabi.

"There's more and more international players who want to be in the African space. More and more people are asking how can they be in the African space, so we're going to see that continue to grow".

"People are going to continue to partner with African storytellers. People see the potential of telling an African story using African talent. Those are going to be huge opportunities for Africans," says Biola Alabi. "There's also going to be more location-based opportunities to shoot films across the continent".

"For pay-TV there's always going to be an opportunity for us because we understand the market, we know the market and we have the local infrastructure to capitalise on this market. For us, Africa opening up, means also more opportunities for us, and for the rest of the continent which is always what we've wanted".

"I have a feeling that the quality of the films coming out of Africa in the future will be so good that it will be African films with global distribution".

"I think people are going to start coming to awards such as the AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards hopefully not just to look at just African films but African talent".

"And I believe that Africans all over the continent are going to celebrate this awards and own this awards, rather than it just being AfricaMagic's Awards," says Biola Alabi.