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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kagiso Media launches its first free-to-air channel with Glow TV!

Kagiso Media, a major player in radio and Internet media in South Africa, will add television to its portfolio with the launch of Glow TV, a new free-to-air channel on the OpenView HD satellite bouquet.

Says Kagiso Media CEO Mark Harris: “It’s the logical next step for Kagiso Media. We’ve been successful in other media channels with Jacaranda and East Coast Radio and online with Howzit MSN. We’ve created very successful African language TV channels for our partners, but this is the first time we’re making an investment in creating our own channel.”

“Our goal is to provide content through multiple platforms and on multiple devices, providing a diverse suite of media assets and a rich bouquet of content to advertisers and consumers. We are confident that our strategy will deliver long term value for our shareholders and stakeholders."

Glow TV is the product of cooperation between Kagiso Media and Nolava Television, which is run by its CEO, AB Moosa. Nolava brings its relationships with top content providers and its experience in content sourcing to the venture.

Glow TV is a commercial entity and will rely on advertising revenues. It will feature content with high production values, universal storylines and compelling themes sourced from India, the UK, the US and Brazil, with South African content expected to be featured from March 2014. “Rather than duplicating and competing with existing channels, our strategy is to grow new marketplaces by appealing to under-served communities” says Omar Essack, CEO of Kagiso Broadcasting at Kagiso Media.

Glow TV will be the first channel in South Africa to offer ‘eastern-inspired’ content for all South Africans on a free-to-air platform where you pay once and watch free, forever. Adds Harris: “We are excited about the potential of becoming a channel player on TV. South Africans have had very little choice with only four channels available free. This is about to change and we’d like to play our part in offering new entertainment options.”

“We are delighted to be one of the first channels on the OpenViewHD platform.” Essack says that Kagiso Media hopes to work with several platform providers across Africa as it rolls out its television channel strategy.

Launching on 21 October, Glow TV will curate the best ‘eastern-inspired’ content from around the world in English and other languages, including Hindi, Portuguese as well as various Indian dialects. When programming is in any language other than English, the programme is either dubbed into English or has English subtitles. The programming will include movies, food & lifestyle, soap operas, comedy, travel, variety and reality shows.

Glow TV’s line up will feature the hit comedy “The Kumars at No.42”, “Koffee with Karan” a talk show where the host interviews various major movie celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, a cooking show with world renowned chef, Sanjeev Kapoor and a number of highly rated soap operas, movies, as well as reality and game show formats.

Kagiso Media’s majority-owned subsidiary, Urban Brew Studios, will be producing original local content for the channel. Urban Brew currently packages the Dumisa and One Gospel channels and manages the community channels; Soweto TV, Bay TV and 1KZN, on behalf of the community which holds the licenses.

Mzi Malunga, the CEO of Urban Brew says, “Urban Brew has been creating content for all of South Africa’s broadcasters for over 25 years. We’ve been responsible for shows like Khumbul ‘Ekaya and Zabalaza, as well as Inkaba, YoTV and 3Talk, and we’ve also created the One Gospel TV channel featuring one of Africa’s most popular music formats. We’re also one of the largest independent producers of programming in indigenous languages.”

“We’re excited to be a key partner of Glow TV. We are collaborating to produce local content in the new year and we’re excited with the concepts that are currently in the pipeline. The Urban Brew team has been working closely with the team at Kagiso Media to ensure a successful channel launch.”
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