South African Production Surges as Streamers Scramble for Local Content

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When Joel Phiri and his partners at Known Associates Entertainment began financing “uBettina Wethu,” the South African remake of the megahit Colombian telenovela that inspired the ABC series “Ugly Betty,” the Johannesburg-based producer says, “We talked to anybody that would listen.”

That those talks would involve both local and global streaming services was a given. But perhaps less expected was the fact that Known Associates and partners Moonlighting Films would strike a deal with Viu, PCCW’s Asian regional OTT platform, which didn’t simply commission “uBettina Wethu” or acquire streaming rights but boarded the series as co-producers.

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