South African public broadcaster SABC launched test transmissions of its 24-hour continental news service on 6 June. Modeled along the lines of CNN, BBC International and Al Jazeera, SABC News International will provide on-the-hour news bulletins and news updates.
According to www.journalism.co.za, the channel, which replaces the existing SABC Africa service on the DStv bouquet of satellite channels, is aiming to run on a commercial basis. Although free to air, viewers will need to buy a special decoder as the service is broadcast on South African signal distributor Sentech’s VIVID satellite platform.
As per its PAS10 footprint, the service will reach sub-Saharan Africa from Nigeria to South Africa. The broadcasts are mainly in English, with French as the second language.
SABC is reportedly in negotiations to open bureaus in other African countries.