]>> On a muddy side street of Ivory Coast's capital, production is underway for a TV drama about young violent gangsters that French media giant, Vivendi, hopes will revive it's fortunes.>>
> It's subsidiary, Canal+, has lost 1.3 million subscribers at home in France in five years, but has doubled its figures on the African continent.
Now, it's pumping money in to attract more viewers here with African produced TV. The series documents Ivory Coast's young and unemployed that are forced to turn to a life of crime. It's quite a different take to the telenovelas and tales of witchcraft that account for an outsized portion of African TV consumption.
Canal+ has been losing out in France to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. And even in Africa faces stiff competition from Chinese companies. Series are much cheaper to produce in Africa, and streaming services are used less, mainly because of high data costs. The whole continent is fertile ground for satellite pay TV companies, and Canal+ is taking advantage.
Alongside Invisibles, at least two more African series are in the works, a police drama called Sakho & Mangane, in Senegal, and a part-Moroccan-produced action series called African Special Forces.