African Television in the Age of Globalization, Digitization, and Media Convergence

Authored by: Lyombe Eko

The Routledge Companion to Global Television

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138724341
eBook ISBN: 9781315192468
Adobe ISBN:


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African television is at the crossroads. This chapter surveys, describes, analyzes and explains the major changes that have taken place in the African television landscape since the 1990s. It focuses on three major developments that have marked the African television landscape: (1) liberalization of the television space to keep abreast of international developments, and the tension between entrenched governmental public broadcasting systems and newly licensed “independent” TV stations, (2) the process and impact of the analogue to digital TV switchover shepherded by the International Telecommunications Union, and (3) the diffusion of Chinese electronic technology, television, and film content on the African television market as part of the Asian giant’s “soft power” diplomacy and State capitalism. African television is constrained by political regimes that restrict freedom of expression, and regulatory agencies that preside over systems in which the law takes precedence over rights.

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