Bloomberg News

Pan-African TVC News to Start 24-Hour Broadcasting From November

September 25, 2012

TVC News, a 24-hour news channel owned by Continental Broadcasting Service Nigeria Ltd., will begin airing across Africa from November and will compete with international broadcasters for viewers.

TVC News, which will be based in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, will have offices in Abuja, the capital, and the southern oil hub of Port Harcourt, Nigel Parsons, chief executive officer of CBS, said in a Sept. 21 phone interview. The company will also have offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Accra and Dakar, he said.

TVC News will join other pan-African stations, such as Johannesburg-based eNCA, which became South Africa’s first 24- hour news channel four years ago. eNCA has bureaus across Africa’s largest economy, as well as in Lagos, Nairobi and Beijing and correspondents in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Tanzania, according to its website.

“Part of the reason of this channel is too many foreign channels just cover death and disaster in Africa,” Parsons, who is a former managing director at Al Jazeera English, said from Lagos. “There’s a lot to celebrate, business is booming in Africa.”

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy will probably expand 5.4 percent this year as rising commodity prices and increased oil production help to offset a slowdown in Europe, according to the International Monetary Fund.

TVC News has secured agreements to air on British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) in the U.K., Naspers Ltd. (NPN)’s DSTV in Nigeria, Multi TV in Ghana, said Parsons. The channel is also in talks with TopTV and DSTV in South Africa, DISH Network Corp. (DISH:US) in the U.S. and Wananchi Group Ltd. in Kenya, he said.

Revenue will come from a mix of sponsorship and advertising, as well as being supported by CBS’s existing TVC Entertainment channel and Radio Continental, said Parsons.

The channel employs about 350 people, which includes editorial, technical, management and administration workers, he said. Parsons declined to comment on the amount invested in the station.

TVC News will follow “a similar model” as other international 24 hour news channels, like the British Broadcasting Corp., Cabel News Network Inc. and Al Jazeera, said Parsons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net


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