Southern Africa Direct, a new free-to-air lifestyle and culture television channel will go on-air on the Sky digital broadcast platform on November 26th 2007. This new channel is the UK’s first ‘Destination TV’ channel, providing an authentic and engaging information source for anyone interested in visiting or building commercial links with Southern Africa.
Southern Africa Direct’s pioneering programming focuses on lifestyle & culture, travel & tourism and commerce, providing a gateway for UK viewers, whatever their interest in the region. Programming is commissioned from 25 countries in sub-equatorial Southern Africa. The channel is a true Anglo/African collaboration, founded by individuals from the UK and Southern Africa.
“I am enormously proud to be part of the creation and launch of this innovative new TV channel. Southern Africa is a magnificent region to visit and a rewarding place to do business. This exciting Destination TV channel will open a new gateway to Southern Africa and reveal authentic Africa to UK viewers,” says HRH Princess Zenani Dlamini, a Founder of Southern Africa Direct and Chairperson of Digital Sky Investments, Southern Africa Direct’s licensed partner in South Africa.
“Our channel is destined not only to become a valuable source of information on the region, but also to inspire UK citizens to visit and buy African products,” she said. “Over time we intend to roll out similar channels across the globe. Ultimately, this will contribute to a greater understanding of the region and serve to strengthen ties between Southern Africa and the global community.”
Southern Africa Direct focuses on 25 African countries and islands with a capital city on or below the equator: Angola, Ascension Island, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Reunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, St. Helena, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
To create an engaging and unique viewing experience, Southern Africa Direct has acquired and is commissioning TV programming to provide a full picture of all that the region has to offer. It provides sponsors and advertisers access to a uniquely targeted, affluent and adventurous demographic, with programming in three main categories:
Lifestyle & Culture, including Heritage & History, Recreation & Leisure, Music & Entertainment and much more
Travel & Tourism, with features on Destinations & Places, Wildlife and Travel Information
Commerce, which includes profiles of Business & Industry, Investment Opportunities, Corporate Social Responsibility, MICE and Trade Information.
Southern Africa Direct, being an integrated multimedia destination marketing solution, is in addition to the TV channel, developing a Southern Africa Direct website. This site will stream the live Sky feed and provide easy access to sources of business and tourism information, links to affordable travel products as well as many other unique Southern African services and goods.
Founded by four entrepreneurs; Alan Joy, Pierre van der Hoven, Zenani Dlamini and Zwelakhe Mankazana, Southern Africa Direct comprises a diverse team of media and communications experts with knowledge and experience in television and radio broadcasting, mobile telecommunications, information technology, interactive services, marketing and public relations.
“We are developing Southern Africa Direct to be the best information gateway for anyone in the UK looking at visiting or building commercial links with the region,” says Clare Bramley, Chief Operating Officer, Southern Africa Direct. “We have built a fantastic team and chosen innovative, pioneering delivery partners. I look forward to us all working together to make Southern Africa Direct a success with advertisers, sponsors and UK consumers.”
Southern Africa Direct is working with a number of highly respected partners to deliver a seamless TV service that is of the highest quality. Content production and advertiser relations in Southern Africa are managed by Digital Sky Investments, the official licensed partner of Southern Africa Direct, based in Johannesburg. Brand development is by Interbrand, with financial advisory services provided by PWC. Technical partners include Arqiva, EBS and Scarlettec.