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Kenya

New pay TV channel switched on

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Competition in the local pay-TV market is set to heat up, with the launch of Smart TV by Swedish firm Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB).

The new pay TV operator will run on the digital platform rolled out by the government last year after testing the frequency since June.

NGB Kenya Chief Executive Officer Dan Kagwe said on Thursday that Smart TV aims at making pay-TV more affordable and offer products with content that most consumers are yearning for.

This, he said, would grow the local pay-tv market, which he said had stagnated due to high pricing.

“We have got a product that we believe suits the consumer. After research, we have seen most people do not watch more than five channels on television so it’s useless to occupy with 200 when you only watch one,” Mr Kagwe said. 

Multichoice Kenya (operators of DSTV) has enjoyed unrivaled success in the market since its entry in 1995. In what would appear as a reaction to changing tides, DSTV recently reviewed its pricing with installation costs dropping to Sh5,000 offering different bundles starting from as low as Sh830.

Smart TV subscribers will purchase a bouquet of 17to 20 high quality local and international programming, including African and Western movies, sports, news, children’s programming, and the latest updates in show business for Sh990 a month with set-top boxes retailing at Sh5,000.

Smart TV intends to invest heavily in an effort to promote local programming not only in Kenya but also across Africa.

All the current free to air channels including KBC, Citizen, KTN, NTV and K24 among others will also be available on the DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) platform with the added advantage of being in digital quality.

Mr Kagwe said NGB has been developing its product for the last one year and hopes to attract about 100,000 subscribers by mid next year.

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“We intend to roll out across the country with the support of the government because there are deadlines to meet across Africa and I believe it’s possible to achieve those dreams when we work together,” he said.

NGB currently has operations in Ghana and is set to venture into Uganda next year having already bagged an operating license.

Kenya, like many other countries in the world has embarked on a migration process from the current analogue TV broadcasting to a digital transmission age.

The migration is expected to be completed by 2012, allowing for a fully-fledged digital TV transmission covering the whole country by the global deadline of 2015.

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