StarTimes targets 30m-40m African subs

China’s StarTimes Group, already busy broadcasting over Africa with DTH and DTT services and with a claimed 10 million subscribers, says it seeks expanding that number to 30 million-40 million.

The target was unveiled by a StarTimes’ VP, Guo Ziqi, who was hosting a visit to Beijing for a group of African journalists timed to coincide with last week’s Communist Party 19th Congress.

Africa was StarTimes Group’s primary target for expansion, followed by Asia and Europe, she said. StarTimes was already available in 35 African countries, employing some 35,000 staff and carrying a total of 480 channels across its systems. It had built 3 major control centres in Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, and was constructing an HQ in Nairobi, Kenya.

StarTimes Group had already committed to a $2.5 billion contract signed with 17 African countries to help digitise their TV transition from analogue broadcasting.

“Africa needs us to help with digitisation; that is why we are on the continent. When we came in, we discovered that few households watch digital TV and they are charge exorbitantly for it; we decided to provide comprehensive solutions to make Africans watch digital television,” Ziqi added.

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