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Chinese firm, StarTimes launch digital pay-TV in Kenya

NAIROBI, Jul 26 — Chinese firm StarTimes Media on Wednesday officially launched its digital pay television service in Kenya after a month-long successful signal testing.

StarTimes Media, which has a global subscription base of over 7 million viewers in China and Africa, will broadcast on Digital Video Broadcast– Terrestrial 2 ((DVB-T2) which is

a digital TV broadcast standard, with the signal being provided by Pan African Networks Group.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga who launched the service lauded StarTimes Media for investing in the country, saying that its entry will help grow the broadcasting industry. “The entry of StarTimes into this market will serve as a boost to the

broadcasting industry, which the government recently reorganized to separate signal distributors from content providers, ” Odinga said during the launch in Nairobi on

Wednesday evening. “I am happy to note that StarTimes is broadcasting on digital platform, which the government advocates and is currently educating the public on.”

Pan Africa Network Group’s is the East African nation’s second national digital TV licensee after state-owned Signet. The current free to air TV is based on analogue

broadcasting which is globally being phased out by the end of 2015. Odinga said that the country’s dedicated efforts to meet the global 2015 Digital switch over deadline is

real, adding that it is with the efforts of corporates like StarTimes that will help the country realize this goal. Pay-TV in Kenya has mostly remained a preserve of South Africa’ s

Multi Choice DStv service which has exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League to soccer fans across Kenya and several parts of the Africa.

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Late entrant challengers such as GTV and Smar TV which offered a similar model have gone under in unclear circumstances and analysts are keen to watch how StarTimes

which plans to invest 75 million U.S. dollars in the next 3 years will penetrate the market. “Our entry into this market is informed by research done over a period of 2 years,

which showed the existence of gap in the broadcasting industry, where the penetration of Pay TV is very low and what is currently available is out of reach for majority of the

Kenyans,”StarTimes chairman Pan Xin Xing said.

The company will offer home entertainment and portable TV solutions including car TV and mobile TV guaranteeing uninterrupted, crystal clear audio and visual reception

thereby guaranteeing content at the comfort of consumers home as well as on the move.Kenya’s Minister for Information and Communication Samuel Poghisio said more

investors in the broadcasting sector present a positive outlook for the broadcasting industry in the near future.

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