TeleSesel: the first private television channel in the Seychelles celebrates its 5th anniversary

(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles’ first commercial television channel, TeleSesel, celebrated its 5e birthday on Saturday.

To mark its five years of existence, TeleSesel organized a live commemorative event at the Camion Hall in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.

The highlight of the event was the recap of the journey of the team that has been with TeleSesel since they started telling their side of the story.

Chairman Wavel Ramkalawan attended the event and cut the birthday cake alongside the owners of TeleSesel.

TeleSesel is owned by Clive Camille and Gilmer Philoe. It was designed in 2016 and on May 11, 2017 made a soft launch with the Seychelles Cable and Wireless company and the channel started broadcasting.

SNA caught up with Camille to find out more about TeleSesel’s journey.

SNA: When did you have the idea to launch TeleSesel?

CC: The idea came to me when I was studying in Malaysia around 2015. Gilmer and I started an advertising company focusing more on television content called Radius Studios.

When I returned to the Seychelles, I worked full time in this company, and with Gilmer still working for the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) at the time, I produced mainly commercials and documentaries and television programs for the Ministries of Tourism and Agriculture.

One day we were filming a concert for Cable tunes and Cable and Wireless told us that there was a vacant space on their IPTV platform and they wanted to fill it with local content. They asked Gilmer and I to come up with something local to complement what they already had.

After several meetings conducted over a year, we entered into a partnership with Cable and Wireless and made the project proposal for TeleSesel.

We wanted to offer more local content about the culture of Seychelles, its people and the things around us. All our programs were in Creole compared to SBC at the time, which had a lot of international content.

TeleSesel is owned by Clive Camille and Gilmer Philoe. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

SNA: What have you accomplished in those five years?

CC: We have made a big transformation in the media industry in Seychelles. For example, when we started, there were no breaking news on social media. We offered high definition quality images, an advantage we had with the Cable and Wireless IPTV platform.

TeleSesel has set the bar high in the industry in terms of the quality of the news and TV programs we have produced locally and I believe our team has raised audience expectations.

We were able to beat our direct competitor in their own survey and it shows that we have had an impact on the population.

SNA: How would you describe TeleSesel’s journey so far?

CC : We encountered many challenges that we had to overcome, it was not easy to create and manage this project. It was the first time that a commercial television was installed in the Seychelles.

We had no examples to follow or copy, so we had to start from scratch and even research success stories from Nigeria and South Africa. All I could do was read about it. When we started, we corrected things as we went along and learned what was missing.

This trip was also an adventure and allowed our team to discover a lot about the population and what they want to see.

We now have more competitors such as WhatsApp and Facebook that are more interactive and faster with sharing information.

TeleSesel was designed in 2016 and on May 11, 2017 made a soft launch with the Seychelles Cable and Wireless company. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

SNA: What are your expectations of TeleSesel?

CC: I wish that TeleSesel continues to give credible information and to raise the bar for the others who will come after. We want to be an example for people and entertain our viewers.

We are not perfect. We will continue to improve but we are optimistic that TeleSesel will remain open.

SNA: People complain about the repetition of programs four times a day, what is your reaction?

CC: The format we have imagined is an international format, the programs are repeated every six hours. This is a template we took from OSN [Orbit Showtime Network] and Mnet. These are two major international chains that Seychellois already know and use. We are no different.

We have limited resources and we are doing our best. It takes a lot to produce a program. We now produce and broadcast one program per week whereas before we broadcast one program per month.

We have done our best to create a variety of programs. And this is one of our greatest achievements. We have also organized many live events.

SNA: Do you plan to expand TeleSesel in the future?

CC : There are strategies to do better, but our goal is to make this station more profitable. We want to let advertisers know that we’ve come this far, five years, and they can count on us and trust that we’ll be around for a while.

We’re offering new competitively priced advertising rates starting this weekend to give people more airtime to advertise their products. So we hope to attract more customers to increase our profit share.

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