Wananchi Group, a leading local triple-play telco, is to launch a satellite-based DTH pay-TV for Kenyan viewers. ‘Zuku’ will launch in May and directly challenge South Africa’s DStv. Zuku already offers up to 91 channels of cable TV to its – mostly – Nairobi subscribers.
Wananchi has as its group chairman Mark Schneider, well known to European and UJS cable players from his time with UPC, and son of Gene Schneider of United Global Com . Wananchi merged with local player Mitsumi Cable Vision back in October 2008.
Zuku has been quietly assembling new channels in readiness for its satellite launch. A month or so ago it added Fox’s FX to its existing bundle of other Fox-backed channels including a cluster of Nat-Geo channels.
“The penetration of satellite pay TV is very low in Kenya and most parts of eastern Africa. Global Pay TV penetration range between 20 per cent up to 80 per cent while in Africa, the penetration is less than 0.1 per cent. The launch of the Zuku satellite pay TV starting May 2011 will see more people enjoying meaningful, quality entertainment for the entire family at an affordable price on Zuku TV,” said Mohamed Jeneby, MD Wananchi Satellite.