You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Discop Africa Takes Advantage of Region’s TV Boom

Africa’s biggest TV content market returns Nov. 4 to Johannesburg, bringing together buyers, sellers, and producers from more than 85 countries to showcase the rapidly growing marketplace for TV on the continent.

Event organizer Basic Lead expects more than 2,000 delegates to attend the 11th edition of Discop Africa, which takes place from Nov. 4-6 at the Sandton Convention Centre, with attendees looking to tap into a market valued at close to $1 billion — a figure that’s doubled in the past three years, according to the organizer.

This marks the first time that Discop Africa has hosted two markets in the same year. Basic Lead general manager Patrick Zuchowicki says the strong interest in next month’s event, on the heels of June’s market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, is proof that Africa needs two markets a year.

“They don’t come because they love us,” he says. “They come because they do business.”

The boom comes at a time of optimism for bizzers across the continent, as growing middle-class auds are spurring a spike in pay-TV revenues, while the coming digital transition is expected to create a raft of opportunities for both producers and consumers.

The big question for attendees in Johannesburg, according to Zuchowicki, is: “How does the continent get together to produce the amount of content that is needed to get that transition rolling?”

The event will host more than 300 international sellers offering a broad slate of films, series, docs, formats, sports programming and children’s content, along with the world’s largest selection of content created in Africa. More than 500 buyers will also be in attendance, including programming and acquisitions execs from a broad spectrum of African distribution platforms, from established pubcasters and pay-TV operators to fast-growing mobile networks and VOD platforms.

Key to this year’s market will be increased efforts to foster cooperation across African borders, which Zuchowicki says, is “crucial” to developing the African marketplace.

The move toward greater collaboration was evident in Abidjan earlier this year, with a number of deals inked between South African and Ivorian companies, while South African pubcaster SABC sold content to France’s Canal Plus for the first time.

“You see more collaborations between French-speaking Africa and English-speaking Africa,” Zuchowicki says. “There is true movement towards being able to do co-productions. It’s a first step in the right direction.”

The Johannesburg market will try to continue that momentum by shining a spotlight on the growing industries in Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania. There will also be a concerted effort to build on the memorandum of understanding between Kenya and South Africa to generate more co-productions.

Regional and national umbrellas will feature sellers from Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria in Africa; France and the European Union; and China, Canada, Russia and Turkey.

The robust international presence, Zuchowicki says, proves many countries are “looking at Africa more aggressively,” with the continent’s largely untapped potential offering an attractive alternative to stagnant markets elsewhere in the world.
“There’s a trend going in the right direction,” he says. “At the end of the day, there’s more content being made in Africa, better content made in Africa … and more producers — big ones — looking into intra-African co-productions.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content