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DEOD gets cricket rights

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Internet TV service DEOD (Digital Entertainment on Demand) has secured the near-live short-form digital rights for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2017 and the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 tournaments.

Owner of the service, by on-demand solutions provider Discover Digital, has been appointed the exclusive aggregator in Sub-Saharan African by the Channel 2 Group for all ICC tournaments up to and including  the 2019 ICC World Cup.

In addition to being the exclusive digital rights licensor in Sub Saharan Africa, Channel 2 Group also holds the exclusive global audio rights of the ICC until the 2023 World Cup.

Tim Cook, senior manager for sports at Discover Digital, describes the deal as “huge” for South Africa. It will allow DEOD to take near-live highlights of the events to South African cricket fans within minutes of them happening throughout the day.

“It’s phenomenal,” he says. “For the first time, South Africans will have access to near-live short-form content to stay on top of what’s happening, on the go, in the most important cricket tournament after the World Cup. They will be able to see the most spectacular moments and track the progress of the world’s leading cricketing teams – including South Africa – throughout the tournaments during every hour of play. We have created a Cricket package to cover both of these tournaments costing just R10, so fans don’t have to subscribe to our Premium Package if they just want cricket. The content will of course be available to our Sports OnDemand and DEOD Premium Customers too at no additional cost.”

Stephen Watson, Managing Director of Discover Digital, says: “This is a significant deal in the sports space, taking a major mainstream event out of the pay-TV arena to a much broader audience. We have seen a massive trend towards near-live short-form action content, as many people simply don’t have the time to sit and watch a whole day of sports, but they still want to keep up to date with the action. This is a fantastic way for fans to keep up with a tournament like this wherever they are, and they don’t have to wait for a sports roundup at the end of the day.”

Watson says the deal takes the mainstream sport of International Cricket to all viewers, and allows sponsor brands to extend their reach while new brands can now associate themselves with the sport. “It’s perfect for busy sports fans on the go, and it’s ideal for mobile viewers, so we are keen to partner with brands and telcos to take it to their customer bases too. Discover Digital will also be extending this partnership and exciting content licensing opportunity to ASEAN & Australia, engaging partners in these territories that wish to work with us and C2G.”

DEOD has created a dedicated OnDemand Category for the ICC tournaments, starting with the ICC Champions Trophy which runs from 1 – 18 June in England and Wales. All the key action plays will be shared, giving fans ongoing updates of the most exciting moments of the event within minutes of key match action. Access to DEOD enables a lot more near-live content to be viewed than is generally available through other public platforms. The ICC Women’s World Cup from June 24 – July 23 will also have a pop-up channel. Highlights from the tournaments will also be featured as part of DSN – DEOD Sports Network. The DSN content will also include build-up content, analysis and interviews before and after the matches.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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