By Spy Uganda
The Next Media Services is rebranding Its flagship product, NBS TV again, our close sources has revealed!
This time round however, its rebranding in terms of programing. Speaking to Kin Kariisa, the group’s CEO, confirmed that they’re scrapping all gossip content and entertainment shows off NBS TV to focus on a 24hr current affairs programing and other events of national importance. “We’re rebranding to become the ‘BBC, CNN,AL-JAZERA or Sky News of Africa. We want to give our country and Africa atlarge a 360 degrees coverage. Let’s tell our stories too as they happen without waiting for another person to tell our story, sometimes skewed for their interests,” added Kin via phone conversation.
Next Media Services Public Relations Officer, Mark Ahebwa added that they have been preparing their advertisers for the migration from NBS to Sanyuka TV which is planned to be finalized in March this very year.
All the entertainment content will be airing on Sanyuka TV which is also owned by the Next Media Services. Other stations include; NBS Sport, Salam Television, Sanyuka Prime, Next Radio, Nile Post, Next Com, Next Production Limited, Afro Mobile and HillCom.
Sanyuka which was launched in 2022 in October, has since captured attention of global viewers with interest in entertainment and sports content.The channel is also the official broadcaster of Star Times Uganda Premier League.
After its re-launch, the station started hiring Uganda’s finest entertainment show presenters among them including; Precious Remie (from Spark TV), comedian Kalela (from Radio 4), Ann Taylor (from Bukedde TV), Sophie Love (from Baba TV) and DJ Mutesa Pro (from Radio Buddu in Masaka City).
A month prior, Next Media had officially launched its multibillion towering headquarters in Naguru – The Next Media Park which houses all the media stations, employing over 500 Ugandans, mostly the youth and now fighting to become the leading multi-media group for East Africa.
A source at Next Media said NBS TV wants to position itself as the channel that a viewer who consumes CNN can watch, for round-the-clock programs that are typically about news and current affairs.
Part of this current affairs strategy will involve broadcasting daily Parliamentary plenary sessions just like UBC the national broadcaster. An insider at Next Media says the leadership at Parliament was concerned that whereas the national broadcaster airs these proceedings, these broadcasts only reach a limited audience since many Ugandans don’t consider UBC their favorite TV. NBS TV began airing the Parliament sessions on Tuesday.
Airing live plenary sessions which start at 2pm every day would affect NBS TV’s afternoon programming which is all entertainment themed – Lunch Request (a musical request show hosted by DJ Zato), a movie and After 5 (an entertainment show hosted by Douglas Lwanga, MC Kats, Sheilah Gashumba and DJs Mercy and Roja).
It’s said that the Parliamentary programming will begin 2pm and end 6pm. This means After 5 which aired 5pm to 7pm will lose an hour. However, from a business standpoint, NBS would derive a lot more value from Parliament buying 4 hours of airtime considering most advertisers don’t prefer afternoon slots for having fewer eyeballs.
Also at the heart of Next Media’s decision to clean NBS TV of all entertainment programs were the disruptions occasioned by breaking news that require live coverage. For example, whenever there is a Presidential address (which is always in public interest), NBS must interrupt its programming which is an inconvenience both for advertisers and the viewers, a Next Media insider revealed.
“Not everyone is interested in watching the Presidential address. Some want to watch their entertainment, and we get these complaints. So, such a viewer will tune into Sanyuka knowing they won’t be inconvenienced,” the insider said.
At the moment, After 5 will continue to air from 6pm to 7pm on NBS before it switches to Sanyuka from 7pm to 8pm. But eventually, the entire show will be moved to Sanyuka. Other entertainment programs on NBS which will move to Sanyuka include NBS Katch Up (Friday night), Saturday Night Live (Saturday night), Pundonor Magazine, KURT among others.
To expand its entertainment palette on Sanyuka, Next Media has been courting comedy content creators including Fun Factory and Comedy Store.