SABC goes international

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

SABC will launch its News International, Africa's first news channel on Friday.

SABC News International is a channel with a pan-African focus and reach aimed at providing an African perspective on domestic and international stories.

The channel went on air for the first time at 6pm on June 7, "as a soft launch to test the reception in the market".

The launch included live feeds from SABC's international bureaus in Kenya, DRC, Washington, Brussels, New York, Senegal and Nigeria.

Snuki Zikalala, SABC group executive for news and current affairs, says "with the establishment of SABC news bureaus in Africa and overseas, the broadcaster aims 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".

The SABC said in a statement that initially, the News International channel will be broadcast via Sentech's Vivid Satellite Digital Decoder, which currently broadcasts to 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 weather, sports, economic news and studio interviews.

The statement added that the channel will also include French news bulletins, which are currently broadcast live on the SABC News website.

SABC News International will replace the SABC Africa overnight feed on SABC2.

The statement added that SABC News International will initially broadcast only on weekdays.

But from April next year the channel will have a 24-hour schedule.