by Thinus Ferreira
The 6th season of Big Brother Naija will start on Saturday 24 July but in a change will see a double launch event with two launch-show programmes - one on Saturday night and another on Sunday night 25 July after which it will run for 10 weeks and 72 days until the winner announcement finale on 3 October.
With Idols Extra currently running on DStv channel 198 in South Africa, the Big Brother Naija channel that will run on DStv channel 198 in Nigeria, will be placed on some other DStv channel, in South Africa - something that neither MultiChoice, MultiChoice Africa nor its Duma Collective PR agency could bother to specify before the publishing of this report, even after being asked about it specifically in a media enquiry in Monday.
Big Brother Naija highlight programmes will run on some or other of the various Africa Magic channels that MultiChoice and M-Net also couldn't bother to specify for the different markets where the reality series will be seen.
In Nigeria, the Big Brother Naija launch will be simulcast according to MultiChoice Nigeria on M-Net's channels of "Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Urban and Africa Magic Family".
MultiChoice in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa doesn't offer M-Net's Africa Magic Showcase channel, with no indication of whether it's meant to be the Africa Magic Epic elsewhere outside of Nigeria.
Big Brother Naija will be accessible to subscribers of DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Family and DStv Access, as well as GOtv Max and GOtv Plus subscribers.
As reported earlier, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will be back as the host for the 6th season of Big Brother Naija.
Viewers in the United Kingdom will be able to watch on Showmax.
Frustratingly, MultiChoice Nigeria held a press briefing on Monday to announce the launch date of Big Brother Naija with MultiChoice that excluded media from the rest of the continent from following virtually, although the 6th season will again be shown across MultiChoice's pan-African satellite pay-TV network in various other countries.
Except for Nigeria, MultiChoice didn't make any plan to give media across Africa access to the press conference with Martin Mabutho, MultiChoice Nigeria customer officer, and Bisola Tejumola, MultiChoice head of content for West Africa, and there was no prior media advisory or notification that any announcement would be made today.
MultiChoice only issued a basic press release on Monday afternoon, and only after media enquiries had to be made.
MultiChoice also said nothing about the possibility of Big Brother Naija content being made available again for the 6th season on its video streaming service Showmax that during the 5th season carried customised additional content around the reality show.
MultiChoice and M-Net are also doing away with SMS voting for the 6th season of Big Brother Nigeria in order to make it possible for viewers in countries outside of Nigeria to vote, although MultiChoice didn't make information or details about that available, other than a generic press release noting that SMS votes have been canned.
All voting will be on the Big Brother Naija website and mobile site as well as on the My DStv and My GOtv apps.
The 6th season of Big Brother Naija will run for 10 weeks and across 72 days and end on 3 October 2021 with the winner getting N90 million (R3.17 million), with the selected housemates who have already been quarantined before they are to enter the Big Brother Naija camera-filled house over the weekend.
"With each season of Big Brother Naija we task ourselves on delivering great content that will take the excitement a notch higher and meet the entertainment needs of our customers. For this sixth season, we are pulling all the stops to give our customers a show like never seen before from Nigeria with end-to-end production best practices under global health and safety standards," says John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria CEO in a press statement.
Given the danger of Covid-19 and the dramatic surge in the Delta-variant in South Africa, Nigeria and across the African continent, MultiChoice Nigeria says that DStv subscribers can be assured that "global best practices, precautions and preventive measures will be followed throughout the show".
"To find out more about this and other information on the sixth season, visit www.africamagic.tv/bigbrothernaija ," says MultiChoice in its press release, although the website contains absolutely no information about the show's Covid-19 safety production protocols or "more about this".
UPDATE Monday 19 July 2021 - 16:16: The Duma Collective PR agency tells TVwithThinus that the Big Brother Naija 24-hour channel will be placed on and run on MultiChoice's DStv channel 197 in South Africa.
SMS voting has been removed from Big Brother Naija in order to make it "completely free and more inclusive for fans outside Nigeria".