SABC soft-launches its international news channel
Friday, June 8th, 2007
Last night saw the soft-launch of SABC News International, a channel with a Pan-African focus aimed at providing an African perspective on domestic and international stories. Airing at 6pm, the launch included live feeds from SABC’s six international bureaux in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Washington, Brussels, New York, Senegal and Nigeria.

SABC News International will initially broadcast weekdays only. As from April 2008, it will have a full 24-hour schedule.

Commented Dr Snuki Zikalala, SABC group executive for news and current affairs, “The formal launch of the channel will take place on 20 July, which we as SABC News are very excited about.”

Initially, the channel will be available via Sentech’s Vivid Satellite Digital Decoder, which currently serves sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Europe. In addition to news bulletins, the channel will feature current affairs and investigative programmes, including news magazine shows which will incorporate broader content such as weather, sports, and economic news and studio interviews. The channel will also include French news bulletins which are currently streamed live on the SABC News website.

Said Zikalala, “With the establishment of SABC News bureaus within Africa such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and overseas countries such as New York, Washington, London and Brussels; and in the pipeline are following countries; Jamaica, People’s Republic of China, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Senegal.”

Dr Zikalala added that there is already interest from African, American and European broadcasters in carrying the channel. “SABC News is sure to deliver news from an African perspective – which will form part of a broader and long-term plan of selling content to other broadcasters in Africa and beyond.”