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MTV base Switches on To African Youth on 22 Feb 2005


28 January 2005 No Comment

MTV base, MTV’s first pan-African music channel and MTV Networks’ 100th television channel worldwide, has revealed its official launch date as Tuesday 22 February 2005. The long-anticipated 24-hour music channel will go live to air at 20:00 Central African Time (CAT) providing young Africans with their own bespoke MTV channel…

Commented Brent Hansen, ”Following MTV’s localisation strategy, MTV base will provide a unique cultural meeting point for young people in Africa, using the common language of music to connect music fans from different backgrounds and cultures. With its focus on the broad spectrum of contemporary African music, MTV base is designed to become part of the fabric of African youth culture, providing African fans with a unique pan-regional music mix that ignores geographical and political boundaries to access the best African and urban music and talent from around the world.’

Says Linda Vermaas, MultiChoice’s Head of Content: “As a pan-African company, MultiChoice recognises and celebrates the uniqueness of Africa, and in particular its music. And it is both music and technology that connects and unites the continent’s many diverse peoples. So, it is fitting that a bespoke and relevant music channel like MTV base should be offered on MultiChoice’s digital satellite platform in nearly 50 countries. Our long and rewarding relationship with MTV Networks Europe gives us a solid foundation on which to help build a successful MTV base in Africa. We are proud to welcome our newest addition onboard.”

MTV base will commence broadcasting with a specially recorded message from talented African-American rap artist Xzibit, who will greet viewers in typically exuberant style. His words of welcome will be echoed by international and African artists as well as African music fans from around the region, filmed in the cities and streets of Africa in the weeks leading up to launch. 

A commitment to encouraging and developing grassroots’ African music talent is a major part of MTV base’s agenda. The channel’s music playlist will include videos from African artists such as Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Magic System (Ivory Coast), SSP (Angola), Nameless (Kenya), VIP (Ghana), Zama Jobe (South Africa) and Angelique Kidjo (Benin), while a regular weekly music documentary series, MTV base Spotlight, will focus on hot and emerging artists from around the sub-continent, using candid footage and interviews with artists such as Nigeria’s 2face and South Africa’s Lebo. The channel has also appointed a continent-wide network of talent scouts to comb the African continent with the aim of finding and fostering new and emerging musicians and genres. 

Key programmes appearing regularly on MTV base will include: 

MTV base Spotlight – MTV base turns the spotlight on hot and emerging African talent in this weekly music documentary series (Tuesday, 21:00 – 21:30 CAT)

Artist Hitlist base – Top 10 video hits chosen by African and international artists (Friday, 23:00-00:00 CAT)

MTV base Request Show – interactive viewer request show (Monday – Friday, 20:00-21:00 CAT)

MTV base Chart – the week’s Top 10 hottest music videos, as voted by the viewers themselves (Friday, 21:00-22:00 CAT)

Legends – the facts, myths and music behind Africa’s music heroes (Monday, 16:30-17:30 CAT)

Trevor Meets…. a weekly, half hour show where DJ Trevor Nelson meets, interviews and hangs with top urban stars (Monday, 19:30 – 20:00 CAT)

In its launch week, and in keeping with MTV’s commitment to the issues that matter to its audiences, MTV base will also air a 1-hour version of MTV ASIA AID, an exclusive global benefit concert for victims of the 26 December tsunami. Featuring performances from Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson, Hoobastank & Simple Plan, MTV ASIA AID will air at 18:00 (CAT) on Sunday 27 February 2005. The channel will also premiere “Save the Humans”, a new HIV/AIDS prevention campaign from “Staying Alive”, MTV’s Emmy Award-winning HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, that uses the latest 3-D computer-generated animation techniques in a series of four public service announcements (PSAs) that combine stunning visuals with powerful messages. Set in a United Nations-style boardroom, the campaign features a cast of animal characters that have gathered to discuss the global threat of HIV/AIDS. Their meeting leads to a unanimous conclusion that something must be done to ‘save the humans’. Staying Alive will be an ongoing feature of the channel, in the form of new, locally-produced PSAs, longform programming and grassroots events, with more details to be announced in the coming months. For more information, please visit www.staying-alive.org.

At launch, MTV base will reach approximately 1.3 million households in Africa via cable, satellite and MMDS distribution via multichannel operators DStv, Trend TV, CTL and FSTV. The 24-hour English-language channel will provide unique, flexible marketing solutions for advertisers targeting mass African youth. Nokia, a world-leader in mobile communications, will be among the first brands to associate with the MTV base brand, with an innovative marketing partnership – aimed at connecting people to each other – due to commence from launch.


MTV base is a 24-hour English language music television channel airing to 1.3 million households in sub-Saharan Africa. Targeted at mass African youth, MTV base is MTV’s first bespoke channel for the African market and features the Continent’s broadest mix of contemporary artists and music genres. MTV base is a wholly owned subsidiary of MTV Networks Europe.


MultiChoice Africa (MCA) is a multi-channel pay television platform with channels from Africa, Europe, Asia and USA. It provides premium television entertainment to over one million digital subscribers in 49 countries on the African continent and adjacent Indian Ocean islands through its DStv Bouquet. 

Through the introduction of a dynamic technology platform and the assembling of an excellent bouquet of channels, built around compelling and premium movie and sports channels, MCA has succeeded in building a significant television business, which spans the African continent.

Operations include world-class subscriber management services and the management of a digital satellite television platform broadcasting over 50 video and 60 audio channels 24 hours a day. In March 2002 MCA demonstrated its continuing innovation by launching full return path based Interactive television services.

MCA is one of the outstanding examples of a pioneering African company, owned by the MIH Group, an international player providing entertainment, technology and e-commerce services. MCA’s involvement in Africa goes beyond its core business, with social investment programmes in every country in which it operates.

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