Gulli targets African eyeballs with local content

GULLIA_Regard-face[8]French free DTT kids and family channel Gulli expanded to Africa this March and is planning to reach out to a local kids and parents with a raft of local content.

Having launched a local version in Russia six years ago, where the channel is now received by five million homes, Lagardère Active, launched Gulli Africa in late March.

The kids channel is now available in 22 sub-Saharan French-speaking territories and exclusively carried on Les Bouquets Canal+, formerly known as Canalsat Afrique.

Gulli Africa, which mixes European, international and African programmes, and broadcasts exclusively in French, wants to become a leading regional leading destination for the 3-14s and their parents.

It has a programming line-up that includes 15% of locally-sourced content. The channel, which is run from Paris by Gerald Brice Viret, managing director of TV at Lagardère Active, and head of programmes Caroline Cochaux, wants this proportion rise to 30%. Bringing 350 of fresh hours, the channel also targets to reach 30% of that total being local fare in the mid-term.

Gulli Africa will strengthen its grid in September with local weekly magazine series Gulli Mag. Dedicated to the culture and tech trends, this show will be put together by ten editorial teams based in ten African countries. There will also be a monthly magazine entitled Dessine-moi ton Pays, which will follow Ethiopian school kids travelling and discovering iconic locations in their country. The series will be shot by local production teams.

Gulli Africa has also bought three South-African animation series, 3D animation Morula Pictures’ The Magic Cellar, Sunrise Productions’ Jungle Beat, and Animasia Studios’ Supa Strikas.

In 2016, Gulli Africa will step forward with the launch of adventure game Africa Quest, an adaptation of Gulli’s own French show Tahiti Quest, from Ah! Production.

“Gulli Africa is based on the same values as its sister channel Gulli, and offers both edu-taining and fun content, mixing animation, documentaries, movies and series,” Lagardère Active said.

However, though highlighting similar key strands and slots as Gulli France, such as ‘Girl Power’, ‘Adventure’ and ‘Discovery’, Gulli Africa’s schedules are adapted to local habits. A ‘Gullidoo’ slot starts at 5.30am, the after school programming at 2pm and evening primetime at 6pm.

Among animation and live action series announced for 2015 are preschool series Vivement Lundi-produced Dimitri, Tree Fu Tom, and Max Steel, both of which are distributed by FremantleMedia and RCN Chile’s Chica Vampiro. Acquired movies include Kirikou, ET, Madagascar 3, Monsters vs Aliens, Dragon and Kung Fu Panda.