One of the foremost leaders in media entertainment in the world, Turner is making its way to the 2017 DISCOP Trade Fair. Turner prides itself in being a consumer centric global media company, providing some of the most valuable entertainment and news brands to more than 200 countries in 34 languages across the globe. Turner operates in 49 countries across Africa alone, with many of its channels like TCM – Powered by Movies, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toonami and Boing enjoying a strong following on the continent.
Many of Turner’s channels enjoy a strong following on the continent, and the broadcaster continually strives to create a viewing experience that resonates with its African audience. The localisation strategy, that identifies the cultural differences of the African markets, has undoubtedly boosted Turner’s ratings and are currently the number one (Cartoon Network) and number two (Boomerang) kids channels in Africa*. Since TCM – Powered by Movies tailored its offering to the African market, the channel is ranked amongst the top five movie channels in South Africa**.
“We have enjoyed great success in the African market,” explains Jamie Ondarza, Senior Vice President for Turner Southern Europe & Africa and Chief Executive Officer of Boing SpA, “and our increased presence at this year’s DISCOP market celebrates our robust growth on the continent and our commitment to continually growing the brand in Africa.”
This year, Turner has strong ambitions for its General Entertainment business in Africa, which includes premium movie and drama channels, TCM – Powered by Movies (already distributed in English speaking territories in Africa), TNT and its comedy channel TBS, as well as the young adult channel Adult Swim. Armed with a bold and exciting slate of original new programming, Turner aims to find the best exposure for its general entertainment content for the African market by growing its original productions’ pipeline, doubling its investment to reach 1 billion dollars by 2018.
This is evident in the current standings of Turner’s TCM General Entertainment channel which has more than six million monthly viewers in South Africa alone*. Since changing its positioning from golden age classics to American blockbusters, the channel has increased its viewership this year by more than 300%. “Responding to what our target audience loves and expects locally, the new lineup of Hollywood blockbusters like Rush Hour 3, Robocop, I’m a Legend, Mad Max and 300, coupled with a local brand strategy of using local talent for channel brand identity, has positioned us as the go-to movie channel for the very best of modern American action, drama and adventure,” comments Ondarza. In 2017 alone, viewers have been able to enjoy more than 350 movies on TCM.
In addition to its leading kids’ brands, Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Turner is also showcasing a range of channels with a slate of original new programming, for distribution across the continent. On offer are Boing, a kids’ channel already available in 39 African countries, featuring international content with proven success in markets globally and Toonami, the home of superheroes, loved by DC Comics and action hero fans. Toonami is currently available in various English-speaking territories on Kwesê, a pay-as-you-watch satellite TV service, offering over 50 channels of world-class entertainment across selected countries in Africa.
“Our Kwesé TV partnership, which commenced in May 2017, has reinforced our presence on the African continent, following our strong distribution deal with Multichoice,” says Ondarza. “This deal sees the African broadcaster debut our news channel, CNN International, and adds Turner’s much-loved Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Toonami channels to Kwesé’s kids and family oriented programming.”
Turner’s prominent role at this year’s DISCOP coincides with its 25th anniversary of Cartoon Network, the leading and much loved kids’ brand for the mobile-first generation which connects with children in 192 countries and over 400 million households globally. Drawing on its history of innovation, Cartoon Network began with the humble inventiveness of Hanna Barbera and Looney Tunes, and today has redefined a genre of original animated series. “There is little wonder why Cartoon Network is ahead of the pack in its field, having pioneered numerous innovations in animation and kids’ entertainment,” explains Ondarza. “These include the creation of the first kids’ network website, first streaming cartoons on the web, the first interactive linear and digital content; and initiatives such as the EMEA-wide Imagination Studios that engage children and challenge them to let their imaginations run wild by creating their own characters, storyboards and animations.”
“DISCOP is an industry recognised platform that helps us to strengthen and build relationships with existing and potential buyers and marketing and distribution partners across the continent and this three day trade market helps us to bring our content to more fans and audiences, on more screens through Africa,” concludes Ondarza.