Friday, March 13, 2015

BREAKING. eNCA may be closing down pan-African TV news division; Sabido Investments could shut down natural history and factual divisions.

The pan-African TV news division of eNCA (DStv 403), eNCA Africa, could be shutting down since its a loss-making division of the 24-hour TV news channel carried on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform; with owner Sabido Investments also saying that it might be shuttering its Natural History Unit and the factual divisions.

If these were to close, it's not immediately clear what this means for eNCA's several TV news bureaux like in Kenya and elsewhere across the continent and how eNCA plans to cover or keep covering African news.

Also unclear is what current natural history and factual programming eNCA and - in South Africa, as well as the different versions of the channel broadcast in other African countries - will be losing if these divisions are shut down.

In a statement Sabido Investments calls the decision "difficult".

If the divisions are shut down there will likely be staff losses, with Sabido Investments saying "discussions with personnel have commenced" and that "where possible staff have already, or will be, absorbed into other areas of the business where vacancies or new opportunities have already opened up".

Where this isn't possible Sabido Investments will have to retrench eNews Africa staff.

Sabido Investments says its Natural History Unit and the factual division "have been incurring sustained losses for many years" and that it doesn't believe that it will even be able to turn a profit from these divisions.

Sabido Investments says "The closure of the news broadcast on the Sky digital platform in the UK last year and the cessation of news broadcasts to the Africa Channel (UK) early this year have forced a review of whether it has any other viable routes to operational sustainability and whether the Africa news service is sustainable as a separate business division."