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Funding and Financing of Local Content - Understanding The Challenges And Opportunities



The need for funding and financing of high-quality local content has drastically increased over the past few months. This is because the migration from analogue to digital television means more bandwidth is freed up and available. More local channels will be available to cater for more locally funded content. This, in turn, will increase the number of local content being produced and funded.

Young emerging producers are more pro-active in getting their ideas into production and on television. Funding organisations and initiatives that focus on financing and buying local productions are also changing and streamlining their funding policies to accommodate and align with this trend.

Local production of content is one of the major challenges in Africa. The reason being local production is more costly than procuring a license for an international series like the Mexican Telenovela. Thus, to ensure that the local content programming quota is met, broadcasters need to allocate more airtime for local productions. If more local stations invest in local content production and acquisition, this opens up various opportunities for all the players involved in content production and distribution.

The opportunities around funding and financing of local content include the revenue potential as well as the benefits for all the parties involved. Benefits ranging from project handling, international/domestic exposure to filming or producing to the financial, monetary gains. This can also be pictured accurately by tabling by the costs, revenues and consumption of content in a particular region, with the role local broadcasters played in the creation of these content.

Funding of local content is a key point through which the government and the grassroots community can interact and work towards a common goal. The current financing infrastructure that supports the development of quality local content is one that needs to be continually evaluated and benchmarked to ensure both sides are benefiting from the arrangement.

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