Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, VIMN Africa

Munya Vomo

IF THERE is one thing any TV fan in South Africa would agree with, it would be the exponential growth of several channels in the past 24 months. The viewer is spoiled for choice as there is more diverse content out there. Of late is the addition of three channels from Viacom and these are Nick Jr, Nicktoons and BET International.

We caught up with Alex Okosi (pictured), Senior Vice President and Managing Director, VIMN Africa, and he shed light on the developments.

“Our partnership with MultiChoice is built on delivering great channel brands that add value to the audience experience. We have been developing the plans to add these channels with DStv for some time. The research and tests that we ran to measure their viability was very positive, and we are excited that as VIMN Africa we now have an opportunity to provide deeper connection with our channels to every demographic (age group) segment across the continent,” explained Okosi.

With Nick Jr and Nicktoons now on the DStv bouquet, Okosi revealed the content that the young viewers should expect.

“Nick Jr viewers will get to see a host of new programmes including Dora & Friends, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and Shimmer & Shine, alongside old favourites like Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies and PAW Patrol. In addition, all the pre-school content that was on Nickelodeon now migrates to Nick Jr.

“Viewers of Nicktoons will get to see all their favourite Nickelodeon animated content in one place, including PAW Patrol, Avatar and Back to the Barnyard, as well as evergreen classics like Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys,” he said.

On the other hand, BET’s coming to DStv is something that many people have long been hoping for.

Okosi pointed out that it was a case of timing and meticulous planning that prevented the cele-brated channel from airing sooner.

“BET International had been on DStv in Central, East and West Africa since 2008 and there’s always been an ambition to bring it to South Africa. We needed to make sure the timing was right and judging by the reaction from our announcement so far, we are confident that the channel will make an impact,” he said.

Yet for other South Africans, BET International was already on their screens.

“BET International still airs on StarSat (formerly Top TV),” pointed out Okosi.

As far as the future holds, Okosi hinted that this development is not the end of what Viacom has in mind for South Africa.

“There are many brilliant channels in the Viacom stable that we believe will be of great value to viewers in South Africa.

“We don’t want to give too much away. Our focus right now is the successful launches of Nick Jr, Nicktoons and BET International tomorrow,” he said.

Nick Jr, is set to launch on the DStv Premium package and it will be placed on DStv channel 307.

Nicktoons will be available on DStv Family, Compact, Extra and Premium packages and it will occupy the DStv channel 308 slot.

BET International will launch on DStv Family, Compact, Extra and Premium packages and it will be available on DStv channel 135.

All channels will be active from tomorrow.