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Future of Channel O Awards uncertain

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CHANNEL O’s long-time continental reach comes to a sudden end soon when the channel shuts down its broadcast to the rest of Africa after serving the continent for almost 20 years.

As from April 1, the channel is only going to be available in South Africa.

The channel first launched in 1997 and was the first DStv channel to embrace musical multi-culturalism across Africa.

According to MNet, the move is the result of a new MNet and MultiChoice strategy, which aims to regionalise their musical content. The Africa Magic channels will cover music from across Africa instead.

What impact will this have on the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards, which have become a firmly entrenched annual phenomenon since their start in 2003?

They began (with a different name) in 2003, disappeared for two years and then managed to conquer dramatic bouts of adversity after facing fiasco and controversy in 2007.

They picked themselves up in 2008 and went on to become one of the “it” events of the TV calendar.

Unfortunately there’s no guarantee that they will continue as a South African entity.

MNet, in response to TVSA’s enquiries about the future of the ceremony, said: “Currently, we are not able to comment. An awards ceremony of this magnitude relies heavily on sponsorships and until we receive the adequate funding, we are not in a position to confirm whether the event will take place.”

— TVSA

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