On the Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2021 in Cape Town

November 17, 2021 

Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2021

The representatives of broadcasting organizations, mainly those bearing the public service responsibilities, as well as TV content producers and distributors from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Republic of Seychelles, Republic of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe gathered together on 2 – 3 November in the city of Cape Town in the framework of Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2021. The operator of National Satellite Communication and Broadcast System of Belarus Belintersat followed this event as a distant on-line participant.

Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2021 was summoned by the London based mass media research and monitoring entity Broadcast Media Africa in close cooperation with Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), Eutelsat and Sentech, the broadcasting technical distributor from Republic of South Africa. The event highlighted a number of key tendencies in the mass media content distribution which are to be born in the minds of the communications satellite operators.

In the short run OTT services and other forms of on-line media distribution rather grow along but not instead of traditional linear broadcasting. According to the data presented at the forum on behalf Eutelsat, the average live broadcasting viewing time had decreased only by 2 min. over the previous 2 years while the top mass electronic media players and advertisers were shifting their budgets back to the linear broadcasting. In comparison with the rest of the world in 2020 Africa was the leader in daily live broadcast TV viewing with the indicator of 3 h. 46 min. of daily viewing (for the rest of the world this indicator was 2 h. 54 min.). This Africa leadership was partly due to the tradition of joint family TV viewing but was undoubtedly fed by the lack and high cost of the Internet connection in rural Africa. In the meantime, for almost all broadcasters who attended the Convention the arrangement of the wide-reaching and cost-efficient content distribution on the worldwide web was the major strategic task.

The Sub-Saharan Africa market is indeed a high capacity market for satellite communications operators but mere broadcasting services offering is no longer enough to guarantee strong position in this marketplace in the long run. Both on the supply and demand sides data services become the main engine of the revenues growth. While the forward-looking satellite operators add data communication in their broadcasting services proposals a number of broadcasters themselves work on adding the ISP business in their activities (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to be mentioned as an example). The key conclusion to be made by the satellite communications operators from Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2021 may be referred to as the arising need for the convergence of the broadcasting and data service proposal including also providing opportunities for the content packaging in the broadcasting environment, content platforming in the digital environment and end-user equipment supplying scheme that allow for the services comprehensive availability.

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