MULTICHOICE UGANDA LTD is the winner of the 2019 Uganda Responsible Investment Award offered by Public Opinions and Office of the Minister of State for Privatisation and Investment in appreciation of its contribution towards attainment of Uganda Vision 2040 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals .The URI Award ceremony was held on 22nd November 2019 and it was presided over by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of the Republic of Uganda and Hon Evelyn Anite Minister of State for Investment and Privatisation.
Multichoice was established in 1994. MultiChoice Uganda has made an estimated US$150 million contribution to the national economy and has spurred rapid growth in the film and video-entertainment sector by commissioning some 10 000 hours of locally produced content.
Rooted in Ugandan society, MultiChoice Uganda is 100% owned by MultiChoice Africa Holdings. Customers have a choice of five packages delivered via the DStv satellite platform with a total of over 140 channels as well as three packages via the GOtv digital terrestrial (DTT) service.
The power of MultiChoice Uganda’s entertainment is felt by thousands of entrepreneurs, suppliers, employees and partners. We are one of the country’s top 50 corporate taxpayers.
In addition to employing several hundred people directly, working from five offices, we help sustain the businesses of over 1 000 installers, agents and retailers, most of which are small businesses.
Since 2011, we’ve delivered MultiChoice content via the GOtv digital terrestrial television network, an investment worth US$24.5 million which has made amazing content available to people living in 12 towns and cities.
In 2016, no fewer than 50 productions – films, series and soapies – were produced for Maisha Magic East in Uganda. These productions commissioned by M-Net were worth US$536 000 to Ugawood’s booming production companies, to directors, writers, editors, actors, lighting and sound and support personnel.
By sponsoring and broadcasting domestic soccer matches and basketball as well as other tournaments, we’ve created invaluable exposure which has enabled hundreds to earn their living through sport.
OUR JOURNEY SINCE 1986
MultiChoice Africa provides a pioneering pay television platform offering viewers an unrivalled selection of premium entertainment, news and sport. The various DStv & GOtv packages give subscribers flexibility in price and choice without compromising quality or variety. MultiChoice Africa is a world leader in broadcast technology innovation, continuously improving their customers’ viewing experience.
The first seeds of this billion-dollar company were sown in 1985, when Africa’s first pay TV channel, M-Net, was launched by a group of South African media companies, including media giant Naspers. In the midst of one of the most turbulent political and economic periods in South African history, the launch was seen merely as a daring experiment. The media were initially sceptical of the idea, and the potential customer base was seen to be limited.
M-Net first hit South African screens broadcasting 12 hours a day from its basic studios in Johannesburg. The company was driven by a group of energetic young entrepreneurs with a grand vision. They believed that “nothing can stop us now” and drove that vision through highly innovative marketing and promotion for the fledgling channel.
A focus on customers:
Within the first year M-Net had only a few subscribers, and the business was not yet covering its costs. Then the momentum began to shift, and M-Net started to grow, with subscriber numbers leaping beyond all expectations. Initially targeted at a small number of high income earners in the country, the consumer base grew rapidly and M-Net found itself reaching into all sectors of the economy.
M-Net rode the wave, never relinquishing its focus on the viewer, and meeting their needs with high quality programming and service. In 1988 the multi award-winning actuality program Carte Blanche was launched, which became famous for its cutting edge investigative journalism and uncovering South Africa’s most famous scandals. In 1989, M-Net SuperSport was launched, initially as a regular time slot, later becoming a stand-alone channel and eventually a company in its own right - producing up to 10 channels covering all the leading sports events from around the world.
In 1990, M-Net became the first television company to be listed on what was then the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (today known as the JSE Ltd). This incredible growth surely would have been enough, but the company was driven by the longstanding promise to enrich lives of viewers through the delivery of compelling content.
In the late eighties, M-Net embarked on a drive to expand its operations beyond the borders of South Africa. Its visionary founder, Naspers CEO Koos Bekker, wanted the company to shake off the stigma of apartheid that dogged so many South African companies at the time, and to position itself as a pan-African company. He wanted to create a company that was modern, progressive and ahead of its time.
One of the founder members of the Africa team was Nolo Letele, currently CEO of MultiChoice South Africa. He says, “When I joined M-Net in 1990, my brief was to open up new operations in the form of joint ventures in other African countries. My job was a lonely one, as everybody was dead against investing in Africa because it was thought of as a basket case – with poverty, wars, famine and disease. The breakthrough came when we were awarded a licence in Namibia in 1991, quickly followed by Botswana in the same year. We secured a host of licences in quick succession, and we opened operations in Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia within the next three years, followed by operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.”
In October 1992, the first joint venture was launched between M-Net and Kalahari Holdings in Namibia. Doing business in Namibia was very similar to doing business in South Africa and the company experienced a growth in subscriber base using the tried and tested practices developed in South Africa.
MultiChoice itself was formed in 1993 when M-Net was split and the subscriber management arm was renamed as MultiChoice. This new company would drive much of the expansion outside South Africa’s borders, targeting the vast untapped markets in Africa.
MultiChoice Africa continued to expand and by the end of 1995, MultiChoice Africa had established offices in Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia, with franchises launched in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique.
Joan Semanda Kizza
PR and Communications Manager
This Profiled is published and Disseminated by
Public Opinions,Kampala Uganda