African pay-TV operator MultiChoice Africa has signed a multi-year distribution deal with MTV Networks International to carry Nickelodeon in Southern Africa, network officials said Wednesday.
On July 1, Nickelodeon will launch as a 24-hour English-language channel, broadcasting to more than 1.5 million DStv subscribers in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The channel will carry Nickelodeon's programming for preschool, primary school and tween-age kids, with a dedicated programming block, Nick Jr. where kids play to learn, and Nick at Nite, a primetime slot created for older kids.
The new 24-hour Nickelodeon channel will consist of a mix of Nickelodeon's award-winning animation and live action programming. The channel's schedule will boast a rich programming lineup including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants as well as anime-inspired action adventure Avatar – The Legend of Aang, and comedy/live action series, Unfabulous and Drake & Josh.
Nickelodeon's new channel in Africa will complement the wide range of Nickelodeon programming that airs on K-All Day, broadcasting on DStv channel 300, and Nickelodeon's regional consumer product business.
“Nickelodeon is one of the world's most influential and appealing kids' brands,” Alex Okosi, senior vice president and managing director, MTV Networks Africa, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with MultiChoice to bring Nickelodeon's award-winning programming on a 24-hour basis into Southern Africa.”
Distribution and marketing for Nickelodeon in sub-Saharan Africa will be managed by Johannesburg-based MTV Networks Africa, which is also responsible for MTV, MTV base, MTV France, MTV Portugal and VH1 in the region.
Nickelodeon will begin broadcasting in Southern Africa July 1 on DStv Channel 305.