Canal+, Congo Brazzaville sign digital migration contract

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Congo

Digital TV giant Canal Plus (Canal+) has signed a contract with the government of Congo Brazzaville, which will see the French broadcaster being allocated two frequencies, one in the capital Brazzaville and another one in the second-largest city Pointe-Noire.

The contract was signed on Friday between the chairman of the country’s regulator Phillipe Mvouo and Canal+ Africa director-general David Mignot.

It is believed that Canal+ has been lobbying and canvassing behind the scene for this contract since Mignot came to pay a visit to Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso in November last year.

France last year pledged to help Congo migrate smoothly and adequately from analogue to digital broadcasting come June 2015.

But the country’s DTT process seems to be limping off as the government twists and turns to position Congo among the countries that have already made significant inroads in this sector.

It remains to be seen how the deal signed between Canal+ and the regulator CLSC will drive the country’s DTT process to position itself very well towards the ‘final destination’.

But France Ambassador to Congo Jean-François Valette reassured the Congolese public that the implementation of this technology would not experience many obstacles in Congo thanks to its geographical advantage.

"Congo is a relatively flat country and the signals are easier to spread. The country can take advantage of new, better technologies compared to what some of us had to use when we implemented digital migration for the first time,” he said.

Furthermore, Mignot said his company has taken a major strategic direction in terms of supporting what he called an enthusiastic movement that was helping Africa grow and expand its economy.

More than 40 TV stations are currently broadcasting in Congo Brazzaville, with only two receiving digital content through Eutelsat. 

The two are public broadcaster Télé-Congo and private owned DRTV, owned by an army general, Norbert Dabira, a close ally of the head of state.

 

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