MTV to Air 'Tonight Show' in Africa


Jimmy Fallon's show has so far not had a TV deal on the continent

Viacom-owned MTV has acquired the exclusive African TV rights to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno previously aired on CNBC Africa until February when Leno left and Fallon took over the NBC late show. Fallon's show has so far had no TV deal on the African continent.

MTV said it would air episodes in Africa on weekdays starting on Sept. 24 and offer an omnibus edition on the weekend. In Africa, MTV is available in such countries as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.

Financial details of the deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution weren't disclosed. The partners didn't detail how many days of delay episodes would air after their U.S. broadcast premiere.

"MTV and Jimmy Fallon have a long history of collaboration, going back to 2002 when he hosted the Video Music Awards," said Dillon Khan, channel director, MTV & VH1, South Africa. "We expect The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to form a staple part of our audience's daily viewing, with each show driving conversations among fans from the swings in the playground to the water cooler at work and everywhere in between."

Several months after taking over the Leno late-show gig, Fallon has done well in the U.S. ratings and on social media. MTV said he has "made a firm mark on his audience with his unique comedic wit, on-point pop culture awareness, welcoming style and impeccable taste in music."

In line with the taste of the young MTV target audiences, Fallon's show has "a good-natured and endearing 'welcome to the party' vibe, packed with silly games, pranks, sketches and funny anecdotes, all involving A-list stars," MTV added.

Viacom International Media Networks, the parent company of the MTV international channels, has been focusing on building its business in Africa. In June, for example, MTV brought back an African music awards show after a three-year hiatus. Marlon Wayans hosted the so-called MAMAs, short for the MTV Africa Music Awards, in the coastal resort of Durban, South Africa.

Twitter: @georgszalai