Bay TV gets upgraded, state-of-the-art studio
The MultiChoice Group (MCG) has handed over a state-of-the art studio to Bay TV, the Eastern Cape’s leading community TV station. Following a R2m upgrade, Bay TV’s studios in Nelson Mandela Bay now feature world-class servers, cameras and digital panel backdrop screens.
The handover took place at a star-studded celebration event held at Bay TV’s studios, which included a live broadcast and entertainment by Zizo, comedian Mbu Msongana, Vusi Nova, Zahara and artists from the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival.
Bay TV Chairman Motse Mfuleni believes the investment is key continuing their journey as an independent community television channel that grows local talent in communities: “The biggest asset we have is the ability for skills development in television and you are able to use a platform such as this develop our people to tell our own stories, because without talent you are not going to be able to do that.”
But Mfuleni acknowledges even though talent retention is a critical component of their growth, they are not immune to being victims of their own success. “We have seen talent that we have developed and grown, feed the broader media community, whether it be at technical level, camera crews, engineers and presenters. Our passion is about creating a platform for out talent to profile their work without having to go through what can be arduous and restrictive commissioning processes,” he says.
Bay TV is one of six South African Community TV Channels which MultiChoice has partnered with, providing equipment, training opportunities, as well as content. The other channels are Tshwane TV, Gau TV, 1KZN TV, Soweto TV and Cape Town TV.
“For us it’s about broadening access to African story-telling and creating platforms for local content creators to tell their stories, and in so doing create a talent pipeline can feed all of South African and indeed take our stories to the world”, says Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs.
“We continue to play a significant role in communities touched by our business operations by adding economic value, creating enterprise and employment opportunities, providing training opportunities and technical support, which ultimately grows and empowers the video entertainment sector.”
Bay TV is a free-to-air station that was established by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and is largely funded by local government and run by an independent Board of Directors. Their upgraded facilities include:
- Digital mobile news gathering DMNG Pro 180 – RA (3G/4G) with a downlink server, uplink
- Eight professional studio cameras
- Digital screen panel for alternate backdrops
In 2014, MCG donated a state-of-the-art final control room to Bay TV. Four years later MCG installed a studio and control room allowing the station to produce their own talk shows, news and other local content. Bay TV now broadcasts for 24 hour a day, seven-days a week, telling local stories, developing local talent and contributing to the growth of the province.
Over and above the investment into the production facilities, MCG has an ongoing partnership with Community TV stations for the provision of content – specifically for the MultiChoice Diski and SuperSport Rugby Challenge events. The Diski Challenge is a very popular multifaceted social investment programme in partnership with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) that empowers young people through broadcasting skills development and football. The SuperSport Rugby Challenge is implemented in partnership with SA Rugby and aims to take professional rugby to communities.
The Community TV channels receive full content distribution rights for all content generated for the Diski and Rugby challenge, including all live matches, non-live match and all highlights packages. In addition, the community TV channels also have rights to generate their own content from related events on and off the field. All Community TV Channels received and aired content at their discretion and based on their key audience preferences. They also have an opportunity to monetise the opportunity by selling advertising and receive marketing and brand exposure through the free perimeter advertising boards provided by MultiChoice at no cost.
“Sharing these broadcast rights not only ensures the community channels become involved inthe delivery of high-quality, live sports content to their audiences but also positions the channels to gain stronger market presence, which will improve their ability to commercialise the content over time,” explains Heshu. “We also provide technical support and equipment to the channels to ensure that they can receive and make use of the content rights so that they can improve the quality of their overall broadcast delivery.
“Through our investments in infrastructure, technology and empowerment initiatives, we are proud to empower an entertainment supply chain which in turn supports local business and communities. In turn, and for stations like Bay TV, this means more local content for local communities,” Heshu concludes.