A 24/7, free-to-air channel aimed at anyone interested in visiting or building commercial links with Southern Africa will launch on the Sky Digital platform and online globally on 26 November. It will be the UK’s first “Destination TV’ channel, providing an authentic and entertaining information source about Southern Africa.
The new channel, to be known as Southern Africa Directs will screen programmes focused on Southern African lifestyle, culture, travel and tourism as well as business, providing a gateway for a broad range of UK viewers, whatever their interest in the region.
“The channel provides significant opportunities for sponsors and advertisers from the region wanting to reach an affluent and adventurous UK demographic,’ explains Pierre van der Hoven, CEO of Digital Sky Investments (Pty) Ltd, a licensed partner of Southern Africa Direct.
“The region consists of 25 countries in Southern Africa, or to be more precise, Africa south of the equator. Sky reaches over 9 million households in the UK.
“The channel is a true Anglo / African collaboration, founded by individuals from the UK and Southern Africa. Digital Sky Investments, the content and sales arm based in Johannesburg, is a 78% black controlled company,’ says Van der Hoven
The project will be launched officially in the UK over the weekend, and in South Africa next week. The website will go live next week.
Alan Joy, who worked for many years in television in South Africa will oversee the UK operations of the company. Joy first came to South Africa from the UK prior to the launch of television in the country in 1976. He was one of a group of British television professionals who were responsible for training South Africans in the new medium. He later opened his own television company and initiated a number of groundbreaking programmes on SABC TV. He also represented Screen Africa in London for a number of years.