UK, European Broadcasters Looking To Africa For New Ideas

UK, European Broadcasters Looking To Africa For New Ideas

Africa is making the switch from analog to digital broadcast. It’s expensive but there are investment opportunities, according to John Momoh, CEO of Nigeria’s Channels Television.

Momoh spoke to potential investors and international media players at the International Broadcasters Conference in London.

African broadcasting needs more financing, strong technology, digitization, and effective communication strategies, Momoh said.

John Maguire, director of international relations for Paris-based news and current affairs TV channel, France 24, described broadcasting in general as being in crisis, and was curious about how to make money in broadcasting in Africa.

“The old legacy platforms are saturated in terms of attractiveness to audience and that is presenting a lot of challenges,” Maguire said.

Simon Spanswick, CEO of the U.K.-based Association for International Broadcasting, said “broadcasters need fresh ideas, quality progamming and stories well told — exciting stories that people want to hear.”

Markus Ickstadt with Bambuser Media said, “We’re interested in what can be done in Africa with the advance in technology and presumably with smaller budgets to do something that’s a little different from the route that has been so well trodden in the northern hemisphere.”

Bambuser is a live video streaming service that allows users to capture, share and watch live video broadcast from mobile phones or computers. Bambuser also enables sharing to social networks. With offices in Stockholm and Finland, it’s backed by investors including the Associated Press.

Channels Television is a nine-time winner of Nigeria’s Television Station of the Year Award, according to its website.

Momoh addressed journalistic independence at the conference.

“Channels is an independent organization, not under the bidding of any political party,” Momoh said. “I am not a politician and nothing in this world will make me pander to (one.)”