The organisation, part of the multi-billion rand terrestrial broadcasting company Sabido, is one of the biggest players in the African broadcast space, with a presence on South Africa’s fifth terrestrial channel and its own dedicated 24-hour satellite news channel which broadcasts to a number of countries across the continent. In 2012, it also started appearing on the TV sets of British viewers, with its own channel on Britain’s Sky satellite service.
The site, which is now live, will apparently provide a broad range of local, African and international news in various formats, with extensive video content. “Online users,” claims eNCA, will be “treated to the same quality and unflinching news values that they have come to expect from the eNCA brand. It will also allow for direct viewer participation”.
The organisation says that the site will offer content from its TV channel, including video-on-demand, as well as original online content. Among the interactive elements, it says, will be discussion forums and polls as well as a news stream.
On the launch of eNCA.com, Group Head of News Patrick Conroy said, “We are proud to launch South Africa’s first fully integrated online and broadcast News Company. The site will carry the kinds of stories viewers have come to expect from the Channel, giving it more visual essence and enhancing the viewing experience to ensure that they get richer context to each story”.
The organisation brought in well-known online veteran Tim Spira to head up the new operation. Spira’s previous experience includes time spent as the publisher of the Naspers-owned Finweek magazine and fin24.com, one of the top business sites in the country. Spira was also part of an early online publishing business, iafrica.com.
According to Spira, the site takes a lot of its cues “in terms of design and navigation from social media as opposed to traditional news sites”. He also reckons that the site will be attractive to advertisers because “it has all of the visual impact of television combined with the online medium’s measurability and targeting capabilities”.
It understood the eNCA’s digital policy influenced its decision to rebrand, as it sought out a short, simple domain.