Cape Town - A fire which broke out at the M-Net studios in Lagos, Nigeria on Saturday has wrecked havoc to the property, equipment and broadcasting schedules.
The studios are primarily used to broadcast SuperSport and record soaps and magazine shows.
What is being hailed as a "mystery fire" is said to have started at 15:30. The inferno, which engulfed the former Phillips Warehouse Building, now the Ojoto Studios facility, caused massive damage to property belonging to MultiChoice Nigeria.
'No water hydrant'
SuperSport's live transmission in Nigeria for the weekend was just about to start when the fire broke out and gutted the entire SuperSport studio.
After raging for hours, the blazing inferno was eventually brought under control. The studio facilities have now been closed and will remain closed until further notice.
According to reports, the Lagos fire department is being blamed for arriving late on the scene, but Rasaq Fadipe, the director of the Lagos Fire Services, lays the blame at MultiChoice's door.
"I will fault the organisation. How can you have a big premise like this, a whole multinational company, and there's no water hydrant? It's given us a bad image," Fadipe was quoted as saying.
M-Net told Channel24 that "an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze".
The fire which razed the studio complex where the soap Tinsel, magazine show Studio 53 and SuperSport is filmed and broadcast will likely result in broadcasting disruptions.
These shows are also aired in South Africa on M-Net's AfricaMagic channels on DStv.
"While the fire appears to have caused significant damage to the facility, which may result in some screening delays for programmes recorded on site, M-Net and SuperSport are already hard at work with a view to resuming production as soon as possible in order to minimise any impact on viewing audiences," the pay-tv broadcaster said in it's statement.
The AfricaMagic Viewers' Choice Awards is set to take place in Lagos, Nigeria this coming weekend. M-Net has said that the fire "will not affect its plans" for the event.
*Channel24 is affiliated to 24.com and M-Net to Multichoice. Both are Naspers subsidiaries.