TV loves Africa to highlight sports, news

JOHANNESBURG — Basic Lead, the Los Angeles and Paris-based organizers of Africa’s only TV content market, is setting its sights on other underdeveloped sectors of the local TV biz, most notably sports, with TV Loves Africa.

Basic Lead prexy Patrick Jucaud-Zuchowicki says the success of the company’s 3-year-old Discop Africa mart, which brings together African nets, distribs and content producers twice a year, has proven the value and continued growth potential of local content.

“We felt that we needed to create an umbrella event that would be fueled by Discop Africa and yet add the various different markets … that are linked to the development of content in Africa,” he says.

Along with the content market, the first edition of TV Loves Africa will include forums focused on sports and news programming, as well as a pitching and co-production session for docus and scripted formats.

According to Jucaud-Zuchowicki, the special focus on sports will highlight an area where African content producers have the potential to create programming that traditionally does well in the international market.

It will bring together leagues, broadcasters, sports content distribs and production companies with the goal of creating a model for a production standard that would enable content to be distributed outside Africa, says Jucaud-Zuchowicki. “The objective of this market is to provide African sports leagues with the (ability) to produce, monetize and market sports content.”

The rapid growth of the TV market in sub-Saharan Africa has been fueled by the proliferation of private networks in the past decade, as well as the expanding footprint of such major pay TV providers as South Africa’s MultiChoice and France’s Canalsat Horizons.

The move to digital, which is in advanced stages across much of the continent, will also increase the opportunities for local content producers.

“There is plenty of room for business, and business that is badly needed,” Jucaud-Zuchowicki says.

TV Loves Africa will be held in Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2012, Johannesburg. Seven events will unspool under one roof, featuring a range of markets and conferences focused on creating and distributing locally produced content. Some 1,500 reps for the continent’s TV industries, including producers, distribs, pay TV providers, ad execs and mobile operators are expected to attend.

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