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BBC Studios renews distribution deal with MEASAT in partnership with Globecast

MEASAT Satellite Systems (MEASAT), in partnership with Globecast, has announced that BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, has renewed its agreement to distribute its BBC channels across Asia via the MEASAT-3 satellite.

“We are delighted to continue the partnership with Globecast, supporting BBC Studio’s channel distribution across Asia,” said Yau Chyong Lim, Chief Operating Officer, MEASAT. “This service extension with MEASAT and Globecast shows the strength of our 91.5°E video neighbourhood for broadcasters.”

The channels include BBC Earth HD, which inspires audiences by sharing the incredible wonders of the universe; CBeebies HD, which provides pre-school age programming to encourage learning through play; and BBC Lifestyle Asia, which provides a wealth of inspiration for home, family and life.

Globecast provides MEASAT satellite capacity, ground and uplink services to BBC Studios, carrying these channels to viewers across the Asian market.

Shakunt Malhotra, Managing Director, Globecast, said, “We have a longstanding, productive partnership with MEASAT in Asia, delivering channels across the region and we are pleased that BBC Studios has chosen to renew their services with us.”

“With MEASAT and Globecast, we have found strong and reliable partners for the distribution of BBC channels into Asia,” said Shad Hashmi, SVP, BBC Studios. “MEASAT and Globecast have addressed our business needs and we look forward to continue partnering with them in the years to come.”

MEASAT-3 is collocated with the MEASAT-3a and MEASAT-3b satellites at Asia’s prime video hot slot of 91.5°E. The three satellites form the region’s strongest video neighbourhood, providing UHD, HD and SD channels across Asia, Australia, East Africa and Eastern Europe. The MEASAT fleet will be further strengthened with the addition of MEASAT-3d in 2021.

BBC StoryWorks develops uplifting pan-African campaign for Emirates


Dubai-based airline Emirates has long been in the business of connecting Africans with the rest of the world.

In its latest campaign, the airline called on its existing partnership with BBC Global News, which saw the account handed over to BBC StoryWorks.

“BBC StoryWorks is the commercial content team within the advertising sales division of BBC Global News,” says Richard Pattinson from BBC StoryWorks. “So if there’s a campaign beyond a media buy that involves the creation of branded content, or sponsorship of one of our great BBC editorial series, then we get involved.”

Pattinson and his team were provided with a campaign brief which asked them to increase awareness of Emirates across Africa. “To do this, we worked closely with Emirates’ creative agency, Leo Burnett, to develop a creative campaign consisting entirely of authentic African stories that would resonate with local audiences,” says Pattinson.

The creative team selected fashion, art, literature and music as the central themes to drive their African stories. Three creatives from across the African continent were chosen to be featured as cultural ambassadors and pioneers who celebrate and embody the spirit of Africa.

“At the heart of it, we wanted to produce a snapshot of modern, urban Africa that would resonate with a young and vibrant African audience. This meant it was really important for us to stay true to the stories presented in the films, and to avoid any clichés or worn out narratives. By focusing the campaign on the inspirational talent from across the continent, it allowed their stories to shine through and takes Emirates closer to the heart of their audience in a way that is authentic,” shares Pattinson.

With the aim to showcase Africa as a vibrant, revitalised continent where talent and creativity thrive, the campaign unfolds as a series of commercials or short films that present the inspirational stories behind each creative.

Africa Dreams with Shanelle

Shanelle Nyasiase is a 21-year-old South Sudanese model who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Kenya. Her short film titled Africa Dreams with Shanelle, shows how being an internationally recognised supermodel takes Shanelle to different corners of the world, but it’s her home, Nairobi, that gave her the wings to fly.

The ad is shot at a vibrant street market, dense with colourful African fabrics and garments. Through the ad, Nyasiase recounts how she had dreams of travelling the world as part of a cabin crew from a young age. However, her travelling dreams turned out better than she ever imagined.

Africa Soars with Abiola

Africa Soars with Abiola features Abiola Oke who left New York and a budding career on Wall Street to return to his hometown in Lagos, Nigeria where he started his own media company, OkayAfrica.

Oke shares how creative talents in Africa are reclaiming the narrative of the region and how his company, OkayAfrica has grown to be the leading digital media platform that connects a global audience to African music, film, culture and entertainment.

Africa Moves with Blinky Bill

Kenyan musician, producer and deejay, Blinky Bill Sellanga’s musical identity stems from Africa but transcends to the rest of the world. The performer collaborates with artists from Africa, Europe and other parts of the world.

In Africa Moves with Blinky Bill, the artist explains how his Nairobian roots have inspired his creative talents. Emirates also worked with Sellanga to create the anthem for the pan-African campaign that includes a music video with snippets from all parts of the series.

The music video and song is meant to act as a hero piece for the campaign while the profile films let viewers delve deeper into each creative’s story.

Speaking more about Sellanga’s involvement in the project, Pattinson said: “We worked with Kenyan musician, Blinky Bill, who was also profiled in one of the films to create the music for the campaign. He’s a real talent and was able to translate the original brief into an incredible piece of work. It was always going to be a challenge to create a piece of music that is truly ‘pan-African’ given the sheer number of different musical styles, influences and languages across the continent, but we hope we managed to produce a piece of music that made people feel good and want to get up and dance!”

The campaign roll-out began in February with the short films airing on the BBC World News television channel. The digital launch took place a few weeks later on BBC Reel – the curated global home of BBC’s rich video archive.

“We’ve had a really positive reception so far to the campaign. We share the same view as Emirates in that, it’s impossible to ignore the energy and talent coming out of Africa today – in music, fashion, sport and art – and we wanted them to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes,” Pattinson says.

“Hopefully we’ve managed to produce something that makes Africans feel a sense of pride, and also something that continues to drive forward the modern positive narrative around the continent and the supreme wealth of incredible talent coming to the fore at the moment,” Pattinson concluded.


Brand new look for BBC Lifestyle unveiled at BBC Studios’ Summer Upfront


BBC Studios in Africa recently revealed the vibrant and playful new branding for BBC Lifestyle, channel 174, at its bi-annual Upfront event held in Johannesburg. The contemporary new on-air look features a fresh set of palates, designs and objects around the channel’s aspirational and entertaining lifestyle content. The brand makeover will launch from 20th November with new series Give It A Year, fronted by the UK’s ‘First Lady of Football’ Baroness Karren Brady which illustrates the channel’s ambition to always entertain, inspire and empower viewers. Using her prowess as one of the UK’s leading business women, Brady works with people wanting to create change and start their own businesses by visiting them at the start and end of their first year, to help guide and coach on what it takes to make it big and thrive in the business world.

The event also showcased the BBC’s stellar summer season of programming across BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, BBC First, BBC Brit and CBeebies. Exclusive to DStv, viewers in South Africa can look forward to a vast array of world class shows over the next six months, featuring stars such as Sir David Attenborough, Richard Gere, Idris Elba, Mary Berry, Lily Collins and Benedict Cumberbatch to name a few.

To revel in the excitement of what’s to come and express their enjoyment for the BBC and its shows, popular celebrity faces, Anele Mdoda, Chef Nti and Gareth Cliff were all in attendance at the event championing hits such as Strictly Come Dancing (currently airing on BBC Brit, channel 120), Come Dine With Me South Africa (BBC BRIT) and many more.

Joel Churcher, vice president and general manager of BBC Studios for Africa said, “2018 got off to a fantastic start with some record ratings coming through for several incredible TV moments, including Blue Planet 2, the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the return of Come Dine With Me South Africa (Season 4).  In this ever competitive world of TV, our BBC Channels continue to deliver strong audience growth as our programming line up showcases the very best creativity the UK has to offer, alongside hugely successful local formats and international stars.

“We are not taking our foot off the pedal this summer and are excited to be bringing, new and exclusively to South Africa, shows including the TV adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Miserables, the latest adventures of Jamie Oliver through to the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley’s excursions in Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventures.”

Full details of the programming can be found here.

Highlights include:


  • Coming in 2019, new and exclusively from the US is the hilarious Child Support a brand new, laugh out loud game show, starring Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) who plays hosts to adult contestants, the award winning comedian Ricky Gervais (The Office) and a group of five children between the ages of six and nine. The contestants are asked to answer 10 questions to earn the prize. If they cannot correctly answer a question, they have the chance to be saved by the kids who have been asked the same question by Gervais. It’s tense, it’s funny and a totally fresh take on a game show.
  • Formidable British documentary maker Louis Theroux is back in 2019 with his latest installment of three hard-hitting, provocative investigations into monogamous v. polyamorous relationships, the rise of private adoption in the US and also a look at the debate surrounding the right to decide when you die. All three will raise questions and shed light on controversial subjects occurring today in the United States of America.

BBC Lifestyle:

  • Dating can be a challenge at the best of times. This December, BBC Lifestyle brings South African audiences the Australian version of one of the world’s most popular dating shows. Farmer Wants a Wife Australia sheds light on how it can be even harder for farmers living in the ‘Aussie outback’ miles away from anyone. In this heart-warming series, which has had global success in orchestrating eight marriages so far, Farmer Wants A Wife Australia will have audiences charmed with the hopeful rural guys, all looking to find love.
  • One of BBC Lifestyle’s favourite property gurus is back in the New Year for a fifteenth installment of the hit series Grand Designs. Presenter Kevin McCloud once again puts on his hard hat to follow some of Britain’s most ambitious self-building projects, as more intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreams. Expect ambition, extravagance and elite designs to infiltrate the series and have you all trawling through Instagram and Pinterest for new interior inspirations to bring some grand designs to your own homes.


  • This December, comes the breakout hit from the UK – The Cry starring Jenna Coleman (Victoria, Doctor Who). This cryptic series packed full with curiosity and intrigue follows a young couple whose baby is abducted during a trip to Melbourne, Australia. All is not as it appears on the surface and audiences will be kept glued to their sofas trying to solve what really happened to baby Noah.
  • Sherlock fans will be pleased to hear that Benedict Cumberbatch is returning to BBC First in the New Year, as the lead in Brexit, from Olivier award-winning writer James Graham. The political thriller explores the campaign behind one of the most contested, controversial government referendums in modern history and unpacks the tactics employed to swing one of the most surprising political votes in living memory as well as the powerful and divisive figures driving Brexit from the shadows.

BBC Earth:

  • Dynasties is the latest offering from the BBC’s multi-award winning and critically acclaimed Natural History Unit and once again features the iconic voice-over of Sir David Attenborough. Enter a world of dynastic power struggles and family treachery that’s more dramatic than any work of fiction. This intimate, landmark series pulls viewers into the lives of some of our most iconic animals- chimps, emperor penguins, lions, painted wolves and tigers, showing their incredible determination to dominate their landscape and do whatever it takes to see off vicious challenges to their leadership and dynastic line – often from close family members.
  • From the man behind hit music acts such as the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson and iconic TV formats Pop and American Idols – Simon Fuller, comes a new venture for families to enjoy called Serengeti. The landmark series offers a ground-breaking approach to natural history storytelling, allowing the animals to share the unpredictable narratives, intertwining relationships and emotional moments they face – all from their own perspective. Step inside the world of a real-life animal drama set right in the heart of Africa.

BBC Studios and BBC Worldwide financial results for 2017/2018 revealed

  • BBC Studios delivers profit in its first year as a commercial subsidiary
  • BBC Worldwide EBITDA up 42 per cent[1] and returns to the BBC remain stable at £210m
  • Results demonstrate a strong base for the newly integrated BBC Studios, which began trading on 3 April 2018

BBC Studios recently announced the 2017/2018 financial results for BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, the BBC’s wholly-owned commercial subsidiaries which formed a single integrated group, BBC Studios, on 3 April 2018.

The results reveal that each commercial entity joined together to form a single commercial group from a strong financial base, with BBC Studios reporting headline sales of £432.0m and EBITDA of £7.2m[2] in its first year of trading, and BBC Worldwide showing an increase in EBITDA to £118.3m, while sustaining cash returns to the BBC above £200m for a fourth successive year.

Tim Davie, CEO for BBC Studios, and formerly CEO of BBC Worldwide, during the financial year, said: “BBC Worldwide delivered a solid performance for 2017/2018 against a rapidly changing and an ever more competitive landscape. The results reflect strong delivery against our strategy; investing in premium British IP and an increased focus on customer management have led to another record year for content sales, while our productions, formats and branded services continue to extend their global footprint and find wider audiences.”

“BBC Worldwide entered the merger with BBC Studios from a strong position. Joining our world-class distribution capability with the UK’s most awarded production company was the most natural step to keep us both fit for the future. I am confident about the prospects of the new BBC Studios and what we can achieve together,” he added.

Mark Linsey, chief creative officer for BBC Studios, and formerly director of BBC Studios, during the 2017/2018 financial year, said: “It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of our hugely talented programme-makers and business teams that we have turned a profit in your first year of operating as a commercial entity.  This year we received 200 nominations and over 80 awards for our content. Three of the top five British shows of 2017 were ours, proving that our programmes have made a huge impact on audiences.  Not only that, we won new business from third-party broadcasters both here in the UK and around the world.  We now look forward to consolidating and growing our success within the newly merged BBC Studios.”


  Financial results Business highlights
BBC Studios ·         Headline sales:



·         EBITDA: £7.2m

·         Most awarded producer in the UK in 2017/2018 with more than 80 awards and 200 nominations

·         Produced three of the UK’s top five most-watched programmes of 2017, including One Love Manchester, Strictly Come Dancing and Blue Planet II

·         Blue Planet II, with a UK audience of 14m, was the most watched Natural History programme in 15 years

·         Commissions secured beyond the BBC, including The Red List for Discovery, Fatberg Autopsy for Channel 4, Inside Hotel Chocolat for Channel 5 and Sex, Knives and Liposuction, Cherry Healey’s exploration of plastic surgery for UKTV, demonstrating a wider appetite for BBC Studios’ editorial offering


BBC Worldwide ·         Headline sales down 2 per cent at £1,044.0m (2016/17: £1,059.9m)


·         EBITDA up 42 per cent at £118.3m (2016/17: £83.5m)


·         Cash returns of £209.9m to the BBC (2016/2017: £210.5m), over £200m for the fourth year running


·         Free cash generation up 34 per cent at £121.4m (2016/17: £90.8m)


·         Global success for Blue Planet II from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit: sold to 234 territories at year-end

·         Record performance in Content Sales at £422.8m (2016/2017: £422.4m)

·         Slight reduction in headline sales through factors such as the inter-group transfer of advertising sales, continuing decline in the DVD market and fewer US production hours on Dancing with the Stars

·         Indie returns of £148.6m (2016/17: £146.4m), up 1.5 per cent, in addition to equity investment into two British indies, Sid Gentle Films Ltd and Various Artists Ltd, along with an increased shareholding in Clerkenwell Films

·         Strong first year for US SVOD service BritBox, in partnership with ITV plc, hitting a quarter of a million subs milestone and launching in Canada by fiscal year end

·         Memorandum of Understanding agreed with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to expand the Doctor Who brand in China


BBC Studios financial results[3]

BBC Studios launched as a commercial subsidiary in April 2017, as part of a major change to the BBC’s content supply strategy. As a result, it ceased to have a guarantee of business from the BBC but gained the ability to pitch programming to other commissioners in the UK and internationally for the first time.

The business has achieved a successful first year of trading. BBC Studios produced over 2,000 hours of content in 2017/18, generating headline sales of £432.0m and EBITDA of £7.2m, supported by reductions in costs.

Content highlights and winning business

On-screen, BBC Studios content received widespread industry recognition with more than 80 awards and 200 nominations, making it the most awarded producer in the UK. Drama Three Girls and Natural History landmark Planet Earth II were particular highlights, winning 35 awards between them.

BBC Studios delivered many of the most-watched programmes of the year with One Love Manchester, the biggest series launch to date for Strictly Come Dancing, and EastEnders and Mrs Brown’s Boys topping viewing over the Christmas period.

The launch of Blue Planet II with an audience of 14m made it the biggest natural history programme in 15 years, and the resulting anti-plastics campaign demonstrated the power of television to make an impact on society.

Following its launch as a commercial business, BBC Studios’ strategy has been to develop a more balanced portfolio of business by continuing to deliver existing programmes to the highest creative standards and across multiple genres and specialisms, whilst investing in generating new intellectual property and diversifying its customer base.

A key challenge for the company has been the tendering of returning programmes: BBC Studios was successful in winning three of the four tenders, for Question of Sport, Holby City, and Doctors, as well as a majority of slots for Horizon. New business with the BBC this year has included daytime drama Shakespeare & Hathaway and a recommission for BBC Three comedy series This Country.

BBC Studios made good progress in securing commissions with other broadcasters, including Fatberg Autopsy for Channel 4, Inside Hotel Chocolat and The Bermuda Triangle for Channel 5, Sex, Knives and Liposuction for UKTV and The Red List for Discovery, all demonstrating a wider appetite for BBC Studios’ editorial offering.

BBC Worldwide financial results

BBC Worldwide delivered headline sales of £1,044.0m (2016/17: £1,059.9m), a reduction of 2 per cent from the prior year. The business achieved growth in BBC branded channels, acquired a majority stake in scripted indie Sid Gentle Films Ltd and matched the previous year record in Content Sales with the business again being the world’s largest distributor of UK content. Production and Formats grew in Global Markets, with a reduction in the Americas from fewer hours of Dancing with the Stars. This growth was offset by the inter-group transfer of advertising sales in order to align more closely with the rest of the Global News Limited business, continuing decline in the DVD market and the impact of contract renewals in UKTV.

EBITDA of £118.3m was 42 per cent higher than the prior year. This reflected a strong performance in Content Sales, cost efficiencies across Branded Services and overhead savings, which offset significant currency pressure and a decline in Consumer Products. Once adjusted for one-off specific items in the prior year, such as a change of amortisation profile, the closure of the Latin American channels business and BBC Store, alongside joint venture performance and foreign exchange, this represents a 16 per cent increase.

Free cash flow of £121.4m was 34 per cent higher than the prior year (2016/17: 90.8m). Once adjusted for one-off specific items alongside foreign exchange and joint venture performance, this represents a 41 per cent increase in owned and operated free cash flow.

The financial results reflect good delivery of BBC Worldwide’s transformation programme, with an increased focus on intellectual property (‘IP’) ownership; on high-value customers and markets; and on global franchise brands.

Content Highlights

2017/2018 saw a sustained record performance in Content Sales at £422.8m (2016/17: £422.4m) with landmark natural history series Blue Planet II, the fifth and final series of BBC AMERICA commission Orphan Black, and Planet Earth II all selling to over 220 territories in the year.

BBC Worldwide invested £170.5m in content during 2017/2018, with direct funding for BBC commissioned content increasing by 7.5 per cent to £106.4m (2016/17: £99.0m), supporting on-screen programmes across the BBC’s channels.

Blue Planet II from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit was the most widely sold programme of the year, selling to 234 territories by year-end. In the US, BBC America and the entire suite of AMC Network channels premiered episode one, which became the most watched advertising-supported nature episode in nearly eight years in the US, while Blue Planet II content amassed over 250m views on Chinese VOD platform Tencent between September 2017 and year-end.

International versions of popular British shows continue to attract large local audiences with the third series of Bake Off Brazil, Mao na Massa, becoming the highest rated cooking show on Brazilian television last year and the opening episode from the third series of Dancing Brasil garnering a best-ever 8.1m rating for free-to-air broadcaster RECORDTV. Elsewhere, a new partnership with Applause Entertainment in India will see local versions of Criminal Justice and The Office. In Korea, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) licensed the scripted format for Luther, with local adaptations of the hit BBC series Mistresses and Life on Mars airing on South Korean screens this spring/summer. In Russia, Star Media will produce a local version of Doctor Foster for broadcast on Russia 1 during 2018.

BBC Worldwide was voted the number one distributor by peers, for the second year running, through Broadcast in September 2017. BBC Worldwide was praised for the range and quality of its catalogue and recognised for its progress in transforming the content sales business to stay ahead of an increasingly challenging market.

Global Reach

International BBC-branded services performed strongly in the year, with BBC America posting a record 13th straight year of prime ratings growth, BBC First becoming the Netherlands’ most watched international channel since the start of 2018, and Sony BBC Earth (a joint venture channel with Sony Pictures) marking its first birthday by becoming the most watched infotainment channel in six Indian metros. BBC Earth’s linear channel footprint expanded across Greece and the Balkans.

BritBox, the subscription video on demand service partnership with ITV plc, had a strong first year in the US. It also launched into Canada in February 2018 and reached the milestone of over 250,000 subscribers collectively for the US and Canada by the fiscal year end. The service also announced its first original commission as a co-producer alongside ITV, The Bletchley Circle.

BBC Worldwide entered into several innovative global deals during 2017/18, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Shanghai Media Group Pictures which will see an expansion of the Doctor Who brand in China. Partnerships with Foxtel, the ABC, Sky, and Fetch were cemented with new or continued deals in Australia and New Zealand.  In the digital space, a partnership with Google Daydream saw the release of BBC Earth: Life in VR, an award-winning, immersive natural history experience which offers a unique perspective on the world’s oceans through the power of virtual reality.

Meanwhile, joint venture UKTV performed well, despite a soft advertising market and the impact of contract renewals. Shortly before year end, in March 2018, the shareholding of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. in UKTV was purchased by Discovery Inc.

Supporting the Creative Industries

Relationships continued to be built across the independent sector, with total returns to indies through rights investment, royalties and profit shares up 1.5 per cent at £148.6m (2016/17: £146.4m) during the year. In addition to this, BBC Worldwide made new equity investments in two British independent drama production companies, Sid Gentle Films Ltd and Various Artists Ltd, and increased its shareholding in Clerkenwell Films, supporting British entrepreneurship and IP generation while enhancing the future of its own content supply. During the year BBC Worldwide sold its share of production incubator, Greenbird Media. BBC Worldwide also accounted for an important element of the UK’s £902m revenue generated from TV exports[4].

The future

In November 2017, it was announced that BBC Worldwide would merge with BBC Studios to form a single integrated group, in line with industry norms, combining the BBC’s world-renowned television production arm, now a fully commercial subsidiary, with BBC Worldwide’s activities across production, channels, sales, and ancillaries. The merger, which completed on 3 April 2018, strengthens IP generation and enhances content supply, helping to secure the future of the BBC as a long-term creator and owner of the highest quality British content, for the benefit of its audiences at home and beyond.

[1] Including the benefit of one-off charges in the prior year

[2] Including production tax credits

[3] BBC Studios results relate to the subsidiary known as BBC Studios during the financial year, not the subsequent merged company of the same name

[4] PACT TV Export Report 2016-2017 published in June 2018

BBC launches new TV programme for young Africans

What’s New? is an exciting weekly TV programme on BBC News for young people in Africa which launched on 23 June 2018. Aimed at 11 to 16 year olds, the show is an informative, entertaining and fun programme which will keep young people up to date with what’s happening in the world they live in.

Nisha Kapur, BBC commissioning editor said: “What’s New? is for and about young people across Africa. It gives them the chance to find out more about the world in a fresh and energetic way.”

What’s New? will include three regular segments each week:

Behind the headlines:

This segment explores a story which has featured regularly in the news and will fully explain through graphics and films what the story is about.

The big interview:

A weekly interview with a celebrity – or someone who is making the news in Africa.  This will include musicians, artists, authors and many others.

My Story:

What’s New? gives young people a chance to tell their own stories about their lives, school and what they enjoy doing.

Co-presenters Debula Kemoli and Ben Hunte will bring their own infectious style to What’s New? Debula Kemoli said: “There are many stories young people want to share, I can’t wait to tell them all.”

Her co-star, Ben Hunte also commented: “I’ve wanted to become a BBC presenter since I started watching TV! I’m now living my dream.”

The programme will be presented from an immersive virtual studio where stories will be brought to life in a fun and engaging way using the latest VR technology.

What’s New? will engage younger viewers with events in Africa and the wider world, through specially commissioned features such as:

Fake news and Reality Check for Kids

What’s New? will help the audience distinguish between trustworthy news stories and sources, and fake content that is being shared online. We will also expose misleading facts and figures which distort the reporting of a story.

The Conversation

This regular series will explore topics that children are talking about. What’s New? will get groups of young people talking to each other, focusing on areas that they might find hard to discuss with adults.

What’s New? will be aired at the following times in Africa: 

  • Kenya on KTN: Saturdays at 12h30
  • Liberia on LNTV: Fridays at 18h30
  • Namibia on One Africa TV: Saturdays at 12h00
  • Nigeria on ABS Anambra: Fridays at 17h00; TVC  Saturdays at 09h00; Silverbird Television  Saturdays at 10h00 and Sundays 08h00 (repeat)
  • Sierra Leone on SLBC TV: Saturdays at 13h00  and Sundays 13h00
  • Uganda on NBS: Saturdays at 08h30

For more information contact BBC World Service Group Communications at marina.forsythe@bbc.co.uk.

Imagen media portal chosen by BBC Studios

Imagen, a leading provider of video management and distribution services, recently announced that BBC Studios has selected Imagen’s platform to support and organise its ‘Format Sales Catalogue.’ The platform better connects the internationally located Format Sales teams to the entire BBC Format Sales Catalogue. The catalogue holds a vast range of assets including audio assets, artwork, production documentation and screener video proxies created in the UK and internationally. Media is collated and managed in the UK, providing an essential toolkit for the international teams with rapid retrieval, whilst simplifying file delivery of worldwide versions of shows.

The fully branded site was delivered ahead of schedule, taking less than four weeks from project planning to sign off by BBC Studios. The portal contains extensive variations of shows from around the world, as well as providing functionality to enable content to be delivered back to them after the formats have been recreated.

The new platform delivers a searchable and intuitive interface which is independently populated with BBC Studio’s latest resources; whilst enhancing and promoting the brand. User access to content is based on granular permissions, with capabilities and controls over content determined by individual remits.

Kerry Freeman from Imagen adds: “Imagen’s solution was the right fit for BBC Studio’s Format Sales Catalogue. Enabling the UK team to have full control of the extensive catalogue, and providing the international teams with all the materials they need; in one branded online portal. Imagen removed manual processes and collated materials that were disparately stored.”

BBC opens new bureau in Lagos, Nigeria

The BBC has officially opened its new bureau in Lagos, home to three new services in Igbo, Pidgin, and Yoruba. The bureau boasts a new state-of-the-art TV studio and two radio studios and can house up to 200 people.

The BBC’s investment in Nigeria has created over 100 new jobs in Lagos and means that BBC News is now available in five languages across Nigeria (Igbo, Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and English). This comes as part of the biggest expansion of the BBC World Service since the 1940s.

The BBC will also invest in the region further by launching a mentorship and internship scheme for the next generation of West African journalists, Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service, announced at the launch event for the bureau.

Jamie Angus said: “It’s wonderful to be here to open this bureau, which will be the headquarters for our operation across West Africa. It will be a beacon for our journalism and as such I am delighted to announce our mentorship and internship scheme for up-and-coming journalists.  This is part of BBC’s contribution to the growth of media best practice and professionalism in Nigeria, and the fight against ‘Fake News’ – and we’ll benefit from the young journalists’ insight into West Africa.

“The World Service delivers accurate, impartial and independent news to all countries.  We spot the stories, see the patterns and make sense of your world.  We promise to remain your most trusted source of news in the years to come.”

The bureau is led by the BBC’s head of West Africa, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye.  She said:

“It’s a great honour to be part of this expansion and I’m so proud to be leading the teams in Nigeria.  We will big on original journalism that impacts the lives of Nigerians at home and abroad. We are expanding our editorial offer to cover politics, culture, business, health, investigations, among others.”

“We will focus more on young people and women, ensuring that we cover Nigeria and the whole of West Africa like never before. We’ll remain true to our ideals and values of objectivity, truth and impartiality.”

BBC News in Igbo, Pidgin, and Yoruba reports on stories affecting the lives of audiences across the region, and is available online and on social media. There is also a 60-second audio round-up, BBC Minute, twice daily.

The BBC is also joining forces with Channels Television on Connect Africa, a new weekly half hour programme in English which will launch later this year. This will be a live current affairs show focusing on the stories behind the news, with audience interaction via social media and from a studio audience.

The BBC is launching more new TV programming for Africa later this year in English, Hausa, French and Swahili, and some of the TV teams will join the Lagos bureau. This will include programmes about sports, business, and entertainment, satire, a women’s programme, a programme for 10-16 year olds, and investigative documentaries.

This will offer other local independent producers the chance to be involved in co-productions and BBC commissions.

The BBC’s international news currently has an audience of 36m in Nigeria, the largest of any country.

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