Source: Sunday Express (June 6th – 12th, 2010)
Recently Kenya became one of the few countries in Africa to embark on migration to the digital television broadcasting, having set 2012 as the deadline for the analogue television switch-off. The migration to digital television broadcasting is scheduled to take place in three phases. The first phase is the digital switch will initially be transmitted in Nairobi and its environs including Kajiando, Machakos, Naivasha and Murang'a. The other two phases will involve distributing the signal to other parts of the country during the dual-illuminating period before the eventual switch-off of the analogue signal.
As Kenya experiences this major technological broadcasting shift that rides on the convergence of ICT, viewers are now poised to have increased choice and more local content. A number of television broadcasters already have local programmes on the digital platform provided by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the initial signal distribution licensee. The government has already shown its commitment in giving private sector the space to exploit the power of digital technology, and on the other hand, ensuring public interest is safeguarded.
Established in 1988, StarTimes is a multinational company from China with a main focus on television broadcasting industries has become the first company keen to cash in on the business opportunities that are to come with the final switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting.
“Currently StarTimes has more than 710 million program subscribers and provides digital TV services in many African countries, including: Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and Kenya,” says Leo Lee the company's Chief Operation Officer (COO).
Lee explains that StarTimes is bringing in Kenya a digital terrestrial broadcasting technology, which is the most advanced and most ideal for covering and receiving television signals in Kenya. “As per the government directive to switch television signals from analogue to digital by 2012, StarTimes is in cooperation with KBC to set-up this technology to provide the public with high quality television images and rich content,” he explained.
Asked what value proposition the company wishes to create for the Kenyan Television viewing experience, Lee responds: “StarTimes will provide more than 40 channels to the viewers of Kenya in high quality, which will offer digital programs covering sports, news, economy, religion, entertainment, cartoons, documentaries, education and will provide interactive TV next year.”
SratTimes says the COO is a television media company dedicated to the development of business related digital terrestrial television, digital cable TV, interactive TV, in addition to cooperating with dozens of TV stations to provide a wide variety of content.
The company also produces 5 of its own channels, specifically tailored for the African market. For many African countries, StarTimes has rapidly developed a national signal coverage network.