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MultiChoice details hyper local content strategy for Ethiopia

MultiChoice has reaffirmed its intention to increase investment in the Ethiopia market.

It said the country, a market it has been operating in since 1992, is recognised as having huge growth potential with its large population (second only to Nigeria), impressive GDP growth and its largely untapped potential within the ICT sector.

The company’s investment to date has resulted in an expanded call centre, over 80 permanent employees, over 280 authorised installers, over 250 electronic shop partners and 17 resource centres in different regions.

The MultiChoice Ethiopia operation is headed up by General Manager Gelila G. Michael.

MultiChoice believes video entertainment in Africa is in its infancy and there is an opportunity to significantly expand its reach, investment in people and infrastructure, and its support of Ethiopian content and content creators.

This includes investing heavily in local content as part of the Group’s hyper local content strategy.

“We invest more than any other company when it comes to local content – our library has more than 56 000 hours of local content and has produced content in 17 languages for distribution via 33 proprietary general entertainment channels in 50 countries. We have made extensive investments in the development of original African programming showcasing the best African content across the continent. As Africa continues to evolve, the entertainment industry is becoming ever more relevant,” said Calvo Mawela, Chief Executive Officer: MultiChoice Group.

Mawela said that the company has a plan to source viable, quality localised content.

“We have several plans in place, these include launching a 100% local Ethiopian General Entertainment channel and bringing a channel manager into our team – someone with vast knowledge and experience of the Ethiopian TV and production landscape. Her hands-on experience will be key to ensuring we are able to source and secure viable, quality local content for the channel.

With regards to training, we recently held a session with a group of producers from which we commission our shows. During the session, we took them through our delivery and quality, we provided training on the cameras – both which ones to use for the best quality, but also the settings to achieve this.”

Mawela acknowledged that the cost of the content can be high, but does vary considerably, affected by several factors including exchange rates, especially when it comes to sourcing international content in US dollars.

“In addition to increasing our acquisition of local content, we continue to build production capabilities in the countries in which we operate. Although the initial set-up and equipment is expensive, production is in local currency and the costs are therefore competitive. We are uniquely positioned because we can use our extensive experience, expertise and resources as we execute our hyper-local content strategy. We know how to build local production capability with proven successes in Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda with Ethiopia to follow in 2021. We take a considered approach in identifying which markets to focus our local content investment to ensure real impact and return on that investment.”

“Our commitment to Ethiopia can been seen through our tenure. Unlike many other businesses we remained in the country since we launched our local operation nearly 30 years ago,” Mawela added.

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