New net travels via pact with South Africa's MultiChoice

Nigerian media company Network News 24 has launched pay TV web NN24, the west African nation’s first 24-hour news channel.

NN24 execs hope the web will give a distinctly African spin to news in a country where CNN, the BBC and Al-Jazeera dominate news coverage.

CEO Anthony Dara, a veteran of Bloomberg TV, says he first conceived of the idea for NN24 five years ago, because of the distorted perspective he saw on reporting “coming out of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”

“I saw an opportunity there,” he says, adding that NN24 would excel because it brought local knowledge of the continent to its coverage.

Kenneth Tiven, a former CNN VP, is a technical and financial partner at the new web.

The Lagos-based web began broadcasting May 3 after a monthlong trial.

It has a partnership deal with CNN Intl. and Reuters to provide foreign content, which will supplement its original reporting on local and national events.

NN24 has a distribution deal with MultiChoice’s DStv, the South Africa-based digital satellite TV service that covers large parts of the continent, which will help bolster its ambitions for an all-Africa reach.

The web is staffed by some 100 journalists, engineers and technicians, most of whom are drawn from homegrown talent.

Dara says plans are already in the works to open news bureaus in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

He described the web as “an African concept with global reach.” “We’re hoping that we will make a news show that will be accurate, credible and authentic for the rest of the world.”

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