StarTimes plots to take over Africa public broadcasters

Digital signal distributor preys on struggling government-run television Stations

StarTimes Group, one of the two TV signal distributors in Kenya, has come under fire in different African countries for what is seen as a backdoor attempt to take over state broadcasters under the guise of digital migration support.

StarTimes has raised a storm in Zambia where it is being accused of seeking to control the state broadcaster, ZNBC, to exclude rivals from the digital TV market, following the signing of a$271 million deal allowing it to take over the public broadcaster for 25 years.

This is despite running into trouble over the way it was awarded a tender in 2013 to roll out a digital terrestrial TV network similar to the one it has in Kenya. Zambia’s government cancelled that tender – which covered design, supply and commissioning of the country’s national DTT system – citing irregularities.




Local reports at the time cited irregularities in the way the tender was handled by Zambia’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Services. Yet, despite this legacy, the Zambia tender has yet again been mysteriously given to StarTimes – with even more dire consequences to the broadcasting industry in Zambia.

READ ALSO >> How KBC found itself in Ksh45 billion debt hole

“The fact that government is handing control of its national broadcaster to a foreign company is detrimental to the sovereignty of the Zambian nation,” The Zambian Watchdog publication reports.

“On one side you have an inept government with a limited resource envelope but with an urgent need to get a major public project completed, while on the other you have a large corporate company with sector specific expertise and the deep pockets needed to finance the same.”

StarTimes has also waded into trouble in Malawi for entering a deal with the government which would have seen it take over the state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. In Ghana, he company is currently engaged in litigation with the Ghana Government over a cancelled DTT contract.

StarTimes is set to acquire assets of ZNBC.
StarTimes is set to acquire assets of ZNBC.

Many African state broadcaster are wallowing in financial problems as they struggle to compete with newer privately owned operations making them soft targets for global players. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, KBC, was recently declared insolvent by the Auditor General with mounting debt standing at Ksh41 billion.

“It will lead to dire financial consequences for the ZNBC while giving StarTimes tax breaks, access to land, and takes jobs away from local Zambians,” Lusaka-based reporter Charles Tonga adds.

The Zambian Watchdog report says Star Times seems determined to exclude all other market players as they want to control DTT exclusively – thus killing off any potential growth in the television and film sector which sees growth during digital migration.

ALSO SEE >>

> Royal Media to launch pay TV service

>GADO: The comeback cartoonist

> BLAZE: The hot youth campaign that everyone is laying claim on

>Irony of Kenyans who love sex-talk on radio and TV but hate it in public




Latest

Firms Announce Merger Deal to Expand Services

Dalberg Implement, a leader in on-the-ground program implementation with vast expertise in strategy execution, and Axum, an Afrocentric impact firm dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across the Global South, have announced a merger.

Odibets Launches Mega Water Project In Makueni

Odi Mtaani Foundation by online betting company Odibets, in...

Ivon Priscar Living Kenya’s e-Commerce Dream in Grocery Shopping

As Kenya's informal sector continues to thrive, companies like Kapu serve as catalysts for economic empowerment and resilience.

Rose Ntong’ondu: Popcorn Hawker Who Owns a Multi-Million Beauty Empire

Rose Ntong'ondu, founder of Makeup by Rose, is a Kenyan-based makeup artist, teacher, mentor, and beauty entrepreneur.

Follow Us

Newsletter

Don't miss

Throwing The Girls Into Deep End: Single Kiasi S3 First Look

Nairobi’s dating scene is about to get messy: Single Kiasi...

Win New Year Crossover Mugithi Tickets With Odibets

The event has attracted prominent Kikuyu musicians who will be headlining the event including Samidoh and Muigai wa Njoroge.

For Coloured Girls is Theatre Production of the Year

The play ‘For Coloured Girls (who have considered suicide/ when...

Tusker Oktobafest Rolls East African Cultures into One

From regional events across Kenya to inaugural gatherings in Uganda and Tanzania, and the Tusker Oktobafest grand finale in Nairobi, the festival harmonized traditions, celebrated diversity, and highlighted the rich cultural tapestry of the East African culture

Lupita’s Little Brother Junior Nyong’o Charting His Own Path in Acting

Junior Nyongó, who is also a musician and a DJ and now a graduate of UC San Diego with an MFA in Acting, is crafting his own solid path in the world of acting with roles in major theatre productions.

Safaricom To Power Tusker OktobaFest Beer Festival

Safaricom’s involvement in OktobaFest as a technology and payments partner will focus on fostering seamless in-festival connectivity, empowering the youth and Gen Z community through Safaricom Hook, and powering digital payments through M-PESA.

Music Producers Launch Organization To Streamline Recording Industry

Recording Industry of Kenya (RIKE) was launched on 9th October 2023. Registered in 2022 as a not-for-profit organization, RIKE aims to promote the collective interests of producers of sound recordings in the country.

Nairobi’s Hero Bar Listed Among World’s 50 Best Bars

World Best Bars: Hero Bar in Nairobi continues to climb the list, moving up six places to No.62 and Johannesburg’s Sin + Tax comes in at No.94. Dubai new entry Ergo is at No.69 and Melbourne’s Byrdi has re-entered the list at No.61.

Kenyan DJs Face Off In Smirnoff Battle Of The Beats Season 3

The Smirnoff Battle of the Beats Season 3, a DJ competition, is poised to unleash an unprecedented musical frenzy countrywide.

The Highs And Lows Of Betty Kyallo, Sisters Show As Season 2 Ends

Kyallo Kulture has always been, above all, about sisterhood, and in Season 2 we have witnessed the charm of it - the ups that gave us wholesome moments as the sisters led by Betty Kyallo spent time together.
BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke

Firms Announce Merger Deal to Expand Services

Dalberg Implement, a leader in on-the-ground program implementation with vast expertise in strategy execution, and Axum, an Afrocentric impact firm dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across the Global South, have announced a merger.

Odibets Launches Mega Water Project In Makueni

Odi Mtaani Foundation by online betting company Odibets, in collaboration with the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), have launched a multi-million water project...

Ivon Priscar Living Kenya’s e-Commerce Dream in Grocery Shopping

As Kenya's informal sector continues to thrive, companies like Kapu serve as catalysts for economic empowerment and resilience.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here