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The Rise of Pay TV In Kenya

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In 1995 when DSTV was launching in Kenya, most people didn’t think that they could pay for Tv, back then if you had bought a TV that was the only expense you were willing to incur to view anything then DSTV came into the picture with their paid TV, at the time there were about on 3 channels on Air but they were able to slowly change the perception an win over their targeted niche market.

We have come a long way   since then; MultiChoice Kenya has about 120,000 active subscribers on paid packages. Star times and GoTv both terrestrial services launched in Kenya in 2012 and have been competing neck to neck to sign up early adopter since government started pushing for migration from analogue to digital. Zuku Curved out their niche in the leafy suburbs with an Internet as the Value add or is it TV that is Value add.

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Now that we only have less than 30 days to the set day of compulsory migration in Nairobi and Mombasa , the space have had a very interesting player called Azam Tv, having launched Successfully ion Tanzania and earlier this year in Uganda , the company thought it wise to enter the Kenyan market since they have one advantage over the others, their service is being broadcasted on Satellite , meaning it can be accessible in Turkana or Mandera with the same clarity and quality as in Nairobi as opposed to the other two main players Star times and GoTv. Azam offers 60 local and international channels and will cost Kshs. 870 per month. The fully installed AZAM TV setup is retailing at a very affordable Kshs 6,300 or Kshs 2,905 for a decoder and smartcard only for viewers who already have satellite dishes. – See more at here.:

Interestingly on the same day Azam Launched Safaricom also were launching their 4G network, to the ordinary person there is no connection between the two but on closer look there are outlying similarity on the timing, Azam clearly are after the gap the 5 million households market, Safaricom on the other end they know the value of content delivery(read Value Added Services) and they are setting themselves up as a distribution channel for this content and knowing Safaricom for who they are we might also see them entering the paid TV market.

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This is good news for the consumer as it means more options, better quality content and signal and better prices. 2015 is going to an interesting year for the Pay TV industry.

Kinyanjui Njonde
Kinyanjui Njonde
Business development manager at Shares about experiences and lessons on African Start up scene and Events Industry. Future father

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