This year will be an exciting one in the broadcast industry with developments
signalling the beginning of a new era on the African continent.
So says Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, senior vice president: Commercial Africa for global
satellite operator SES.
“It’s an exhilarating time in the industry and in Africa with a number of platforms
growing direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcast television on the continent,”
continues Guimba-Saidou. “East African pay-TV broadcaster Zuku TV recently
completed its migration on the SES fleet to the newer SES-5. Zuku TV is part of
Wananchi Group Holdings and is East Africa’s leading home entertainment operator
with a substantial customer base in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.”
The migration of Zuku TV from the SES satellite NSS-12 to the newer SES-5 began in
February 2013. SES-5 was launched last year and is positioned at 5 degrees East, one
of the company’s flagship orbital slots, which supports customers across the continent
to grow Africa’s DTH and broadcast services.
In another recent development, SES signed a 15-year contract with Platco Digital, a
sister company of independent broadcaster e.tv, to broadcast a new free-to-air (FTA)
service in South Africa with future plans to expand across Southern Africa.
The contract for two transponders, with an option for additional capacity in 2014, will
allow the DTH transmission of Platco Digital’s OpenView HD platform, South Africa’s
first FTA satellite TV channel, to audiences in South Africa’s urban and remote areas.
SES will provide the satellite capacity on the SES-5 satellite.
“This agreement is an important step for the growth of the major South African free-
to-air broadcaster in Africa’s dynamic emerging markets,” explains Guimba-Saidou. “It
shows that satellite can help broadcasters overcome the challenges of terrestrial
coverage, reach large audiences and extend their services with free-to-air
programmes. SES is well established to provide broadcasters with the highest quality
satellite capacity to build a high-value neighbourhood and grow DTH satellite TV
across the continent.”
Maintaining the momentum is SES’s 10-year contract on SES-5 with StarTimes
Communication Network Technology. StarTimes is China’s most influential system
technology provider and network operator, and the fastest-growing digital TV
operator in Africa with over 2.6 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers.
StarTimes has also acquired SES’s 20% shareholding in South African pay-TV operator
This new partnership with SES enables StarTimes to have a DTH platform in addition
to its existing DTT and mobile TV (CMMB) platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. The
partnership will illustrate how the combination of DTH and DTT is a key enabler in
Africa’s migration to digital TV and will help set the pace in the continent’s digital
DISCOP AFRICA latestA special country focus on Nigeria at the DISCOP AFRICA multi-platform content
market, which takes place from 6 to 8 November at Johannesburg’s Sandton
Convention Centre, will see 10 up and coming TV producers and distributors
from Nigeria man the official Nigerian Pavilion...