Zuku, the three-in-one service package from Wananchi Group, which provides cable and Internet services in Eastern Africa, has announced that it will carry STAR channels across Wananchi’s cable and DTH platforms immediately, as part of a drive to increase its all inclusive TV offering.
The one-year carriage agreement between Zuku and Indian entertainment giant STAR, which broadcasts to over 300 million people every week across India and over 65 countries across the globe, will see four channels – STAR Plus, Gold, News and One, being broadcast. The STAR channels will be carried on cable and DTH platforms, initially in Kenya only. By late 2011 the channels will also be carried in Uganda and Tanzania, and beyond that in other territories in Wananchi’s footprint as operations roll out.
The deal means that, for the first time in the history of Indian TV channels, viewers of STAR Plus will now watch their favorite shows in various cities around the world on the same day and at the same time – a radical departure from an era when viewers had to make do with time lag deferred content.
Hannelie Bekker, Managing Director of Wananchi Programming, says: “Including Hindi, Gujarathi and Punjabi orientated programming in all our channel bouquets is a key part of Wananchi’s differentiation and positioning in the market, and bolsters our offering to East African populations. There is a large population of East Africans of Indian descent, whose entertainment requirements encompass both Hollywood and Bollywood. The agreement with STAR marks a move into Bollywood programming for Wananchi.’
Sumantra Dutta, Country Head, Middle East, Africa & Pakistan at STAR says: “In our continuous quest to make our world leader STAR TV channels available across geographies, we’re proud to bring the world’s favorite Indian TV channels – STAR Plus, STAR Gold, STAR News and STAR One to Zuku subscribers. We are elated that the South Asian community in East Africa will now be able to access STAR TV content through Zuku. This industry defining move makes STAR, the first Indian broadcaster to enable global viewers watch subtitled content, same day, globally. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Zuku to bring subscribers even more TV choice from our world leading bouquet of South Asian channels.’