Four pay TV operators to launch channel

JOHANNESBURG — MTV Networks will launch pan-African music channel MTV Base Africa to a targeted 1.3 million households in 48 countries across the continent Feb. 22.

The ad-supported 24-hour English-language music channel will initially launch through four pay TV operators: pan-African MultiChoice DStv, and Nigeria-based CTL, FSTV and Trend TV. All these platforms, with the exception of CTL, are digital bouquets delivered by satellites.

Alex Mokosi, general manaer of MTV Networks Africa, said these platforms would initially provide a subscriber base of 1.3 million, most of them on DStv; CTL is a Nigerian cable channel, and FSTV and Trend TV are relatively recent Nigerian startups.

Mokosi said MTV Base Africa would be tailored to reflect the tastes and interests of the continent’s youth, including such African musical genres as kwaito, mbalax and zouk, through a combination of international musicvideos and locally produced content, complemented by MTV’s U.K. and U.S. longform programming.

Although hosts will speak English, the channel will play music in various languages, including Kiswahili, Portuguese and French.

MTV Networks has indicated that it plans to develop models to extend its auds in Africa beyond pay TV into free-to-air terrestrial auds.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more