Thursday, September 3, 2015

MultiChoice will be doing pop-up channels in DStv in 2016; M-Net's Star Wars pop-up channel is 'an experiment', says the pay-TV operator.

MultiChoice will be doing 4 limited-period pop-up channels on DStv in 2016 similar to M-Net's current Star Wars pop-up channel on channel 109 which is an experiment, the satellite pay-TV operator has revealed.

At the end of the year, MultiChoice will be adding another new kids pop-up channel for the December holidays, a kids channel from Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) that already provides Cartoon Network (DStv 301) and Boomerang (DStv 302) as kids channels to DStv.

David Booth, chief content officer for MultiChoice Africa, revealed at the MultiChoice Content Showcase that MultiChoice sees the current Star Wars pop-up channel from M-Net and The Walt Disney Company in Africa as "an experiment" and will be doing more of them in the future - at least 4 pop-up channels in 2016.

In 2014 MultiChoice and DStv had great success with the Oscar Pistorius Trial channel from Combined Artistis Productions in South Africa.

It was also a pop-up channel of which the ratings and viewership at certain times outperformed premium channels like M-Net (DStv 101) and made it the 4th most watched TV channel on pay-TV in South Africa.

"We want to be more fluid and offer more pop-up and events channels – it's very much part of our strategy," said David Booth at a panel discussion on Wednesday at the Main Beach Marquee where MultiChoice held a MultiChoice Africa Media Roundtable press conference.

"We have big plans over the holiday period to bring in a kids' channel from Turner Broadcasting, for example."

"Going forward, I see events channels offering fantastic opportunities. The Star Wars channel is an experiment, and it's also something we've done in the past with Big Brother Africa. It's our ambition to do four more pop-up and events channels in the next year," said David Booth.

MultiChoice's 5 day DStv Content Showcase in Mauritius started on Tuesday with the satellite pay-TV service doing a programming and content upfront where several TV channels - from Sony Television and BBC Worldwide to SuperSport, M-Net, Viacom's BET, MTV Base, A+E Networks UK's History, Lifetime and others - are presenting their latest and upcoming programming and content over the coming months.

MultiChoice excluded South Africa's press and TV critics from attending the MultiChoice Content Showcase that media from other Africa countries are attending, and MultiChoice didn't inform South African journalists covering the TV industry beforehand that the event would be taking place.