Wananchi Group, owners of pay TV Zuku, has completed its test phase in Malawi and confirmed that the company is ready to fully launch its services in Malawi as part of its strategy to grow its TV operations.
In a press statement released yesterday, Wananchi Group say the move, which is being set up at an initial cost of $10 million (about K4 billion), comes on the backdrop of Malawi’s government successful migration from analogue broadcasting to digital confirmed by the global requirements that all countries should have adopted the new platform by 2015.
Wananchi Group CEO, Richard Alden explained: “We are excited to unveil Zuku TV in Malawi, together with our local partner Nico Holdings Limited. We believe through our compelling offering—a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies, documentaries and music we are inevitably contributing to the country’s digital knowledge and economy infrastructure. Our goal is to ensure the majority if not all households in the country have access to our world class digital television content at very affordable subscription charges.”
He added, “With over 105 channel options now available on Zuku TV, we will keep making it even better, not only through competitive pricing, but also spicing up our content in an effort to give value for money while keeping our subscribers informed and entertained.”
On his part, Felix Mlusu, managing director of Holdings Limited said that his company is excited by the partnership with Wanachi Group.
“As a Malawian multinational company, we constantly seek to uplift the standards of the Malawian living experience. The entry of Zuku TV into the market will enable more Malawians to enjoy a high quality yet affordable entertainment and we are proud to be part of that process,” said Mlusu.
Consumers will be treated to many of Zuku TV’s tailor-made channels such as Zuku Africa airing African content, Zuku Life airing documentaries, Zuku Sports, a first of its kind kids channel dubbed Zuku Kids that provides both entertainment and edutainment for children aged between six and 12 years and as well as a number of themed movie channels .
Robert Wanjohi, Zuku’s territory manager based in Malawi said that some families have been enjoying Zuku TV in Malawi since April 2014.
He added that the feedback received to date has been very positive and that demand for Zuku is steadily increasing.
Zuku launched in Nairobi (on its cable network) in 2009 and Direct-To-Home Services in Kenya and Uganda in late 2011 and Tanzania in 2012.
“I am pleased to note that over 13 million households in the East Africa region can access Zuku TV services and now with the launch into Malawi we are we have pushed the number to 14 million households,”Alden said.
Malawi now becomes the fourth country to have Zuku TV after Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
As a brand, Zuku is committed in enriching the product offering through accessible, affordable and relevant content.
“We believe that there is a rapidly growing market segment that is eager to be part of a digital multi-channel television world for the range and choice that it offers to the whole family. Our offering has been structured to meet that need – and we see a truly exciting opportunity in this. As an East African company we are committed to maintaining a close focus on this market, and are delighted to be a part of its growth,” said Alden.
Wananchi group is also planning to venture into Ethiopia and Rwanda by end 2014.