Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MultiChoice switches to W7 satellite, begins BBA-4 in Sept

Digital Satellite Television (DSTv) service provider, MultiChoice has concluded plans to switch from its current satellite to W7 satellite come September this year, just as its Big Brother Africa 4 has been fixed to commence on September 6, reports REMMY NWEKE and CHARLES OKOH.

Head, Corporate Communications at MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Segun Fayose, gave this insight at a media parley in Lagos, weekend, saying that the change has become necessary due to complains on its services, mostly during weather changes and fluctuations.

The switching, he said, would definitely increase availability of its services at all times including during rainy seasons, stressing that the proposed W7 satellite to be launched in this second quarter by its operators, Eutelsat, has 36 degrees east location and expected to double the capacity currently available at a key neighborhood in the group’s fleet of geostationary satellites.

Experts said that through a configuration of high-performance fixed and steerable beams, W7 will also boost coverage and flexibility for addressing growing markets, notably in central Asia and Africa, mostly by way of comprising up to 70 Ku-band transponders that could be connected to six beams serving Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and central Asia.

Equally, he said, this year’s Big Brother Africa (BBA) will be transmitted through the W7 satellite and urged Nigerians to be ready to another round of the satellite reality show.

Throwing more light on BBA 4, the Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Hundah, said the programme has been packaged in compliance with all the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) regulations, even as modifications have been made as demanded by the federal legislators, last year.

He also said that with the new prize money of $200,000 (about N29 million), the popular paid TV programme which attracted some controversies in 2007, over claims of nudity will run from September 6 to December 6, 2009.

The Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa for Mnet, Mrs. Biola Adekambi, said there are new innovations as housemates could now conspire against one another, there will be no uncut show unlike before and that there will also be no shower hour.

She said the producers (Endemol, South Africa) will ensure that the nudity aspect (shower hour) is eliminated so as to avoid the controversies generated by the second edition, adding that participating countries have been increased to 14 from 12, including Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, because of the expanding subscriber base there, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“There are going to be 40 cameras and 100 microphones in the house that is, doubling the number of cameras in the house in the last three editions. Since the prize money has been increased to $200,000, people are going to conspire, form alliances and plan on how they are going to walk away with the money over the period of 91 days,” she said.

Mrs. Adekambi said the show is open to adults over the age of 21 with valid Nigerian passports, stressing that entry is free and interested candidates must be fluent in English language, be exciting, flexible, open-minded and be able to live with other people of diverse cultures from very close proximity.

She also said viewers will now vote for the person they want to remain in the house rather than the person they want out.

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