Saturday, April 13, 2019

MultiChoice content boss, Aletta Alberts, on 15 years of E! from NBCUniversal International Networks on DStv: 'Africans will continue to be part of the E! story'.

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's content boss, has congratulated NBCUniversal International Networks on the anniversary of 15 years of its E! Entertainment (DStv 124) channel being carried on the DStv satellite pay-TV service in South Africa and across Africa, saying that African viewers and talent "have always been, and will continue to be, part of the E! story".

On Thursday night NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUIN) held a red carpet party to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the presence of the entertainment channel in South Africa and Africa.

Some of the recipients of its first-ever E! Africa Pop Culture Awards attended the very full event held at the new Alice & Fifth underground avant-garde nightclub in Johannesburg inside the Sandton Sun Hotel, along with local celebrities and TV presenters, NBCUIN and MultiChoice executives, other TV executives and producers, advertising executives and sponsors, as well as the press.

At the event NBCUniversal International Networks also gave guests a first look at its new E! Africa TV commercial as part of a new #LoveELiveE channel brand promotion marketing campaign that is being rolled out in South Africa and Nigeria.

The new campaign features a blend of E!'s Hollywood talent along with South African stars and one from Nigeria. Besides the TV commercial NBCUIN will also do billboard-sized "building wraps" in Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, and Lagos in Nigeria for a 6-week period from mid-April.

Lee Raftery, NBCUniversal International Networks content and marketing boss for the Africa region and based in London, had a short on-stage speech Thursday night about E!'s 15th anniversary milestone in Africa.

"We're particularly proud of our local productions. We've covered red carpets, as well as our most recent production, How Do I Look? South Africa. And there's our recent announcement of our new local production set for the second half of the year, our version of the Emmy-award winning Hollywood Game Night, Celebrity Game Night."

Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content strategy, said on-stage that "I can't believe it's been 15 years and what an amazing journey it's been".

"E! has always been very, very close to my heart," she said. "The first thing was The Girls from the Playboy Mansion and I thought that was the gift that kept on giving. But then, the Kardashians arrived."

"And how did we underestimate Kris Jenner and the Kardashians! I must say I saw Kendall and Kylie - I saw that show coming. When they were still little I thought: 'They're going to grow up and be fabulous and they're probably going to be the next generation."

"But what I didn't see coming was Caitlyn Jenner. Trust me, I don't think even Kris saw that coming," said Aletta Alberts.

"E! has always been a trendsetter as was the case with its reimaging from the red E! channel to the black-and-white channel and the slogan 'Pop of Culture'."

"Africans have always been, and will continue to be, part of the E! story, as we see more and more extraordinary talented people from this continent make their way to LaLa-land," said Aletta Alberts.

Minnie Dlamini, who features in the E! Africa TV commercial, told TVwithThinus on Thursday night that "What E! has done in terms of being the leaders of pop culture has truly been revolutionary. Thank you for sticking around for 15 years. Thank you for coming to Africa".

A planned NBCUI interview with Lee Raftery on Thursday didn't work out and wasn't possible.

ALSO READ: REVIEW. E!'s 15th birthday party in South Africa was fine and looked beautiful but with too many 'standing-room only' guests while TV execs hid away in their roped-off alcoves, it felt more college-years nightclub night than big celebration.
ALSO READ: TV CRITIC's NOTEBOOK. As E! marks 15 years in South Africa as a TV channel on DStv, here are 15 things that E! brought into my life that I'm thankful for. 
ALSO READ: TV CRITIC's NOTEBOOK. At E!'s 15th Africa anniversary party, I tried to ask ProVerb just one question - and then something happened that made me think about what's reasonable to expect from TV stars who decide to be on the red carpet. 
ALSO READ: IN IMAGES. 37 photos from inside E!'s party to celebrate 15 years of the channel from NBCUniversal International Networks in South Africa and Africa on MultiChoice's DStv.
ALSO READ: E! unveils a new E! Africa TV commercial to celebrate its presence of 15 years on the continent; 'it was like a proper film set,' says Roxy Burger.
ALSO READ: E! in Africa announces the recipients of its first-ever E! Africa Pop Culture Awards in 2019. 
ALSO READ: NBCUniversal International Networks celebrating E!'s 15th anniversary in South Africa and Africa with a celebration party and the first-ever E! Africa Pop Culture Awards.
ALSO READ: E! commissions new 10-episode show, Celebrity Game Night, produced by Rapid Blue, as its next localised African series; production starting July for broadcast in late-2019.