South Africa to launch Direct

New TV channel will look at culture, business

JOHANNESBURG — A 24/7 channel about culture, lifestyle and business in southern Africa will launch on Blighty’s Sky Digital platform on Nov. 26.

Southern Africa Direct will provide a gateway for a broad range of U.K. viewers, says Pierre van der Hoven, chief executive of Digital Sky Investments, a licensed partner of Southern Africa Direct.

He says the target audience is “anyone interested in visiting or building commercial links with southern Africa.”

The channel would provide opportunities for sponsors and advertisers from the region — consisting of 25 countries in Africa south of the equator — wanting to reach “an affluent and adventurous” U.K. demo.

“The channel is a true Anglo-African collaboration, founded by individuals from the U.K. and Southern Africa,” Van der Hoven says. “Digital Sky Investments, the content and sales arm based in Johannesburg, is a 78% black controlled company.”

Alan Joy, a U.K.-based independent consultant on business TV and digital technology in corporate communications, will oversee the Brit operations.

Joy has a long association with South Africa. He was one of a group of British industryites who came to the country to train locals before TV bowed here in 1976. He later opened his own shingle producing programs for the South African Broadcasting Corp.

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