Chinese digital satellite television provider, StarTimes will introduce arguably the world’s most followed football games, the English Premier League to its television bouquets.
Broadcasting in 30 African countries including Malawi, StarTimes also referred to StarSat, boasts f low competitive prices with a target of low income earners.
While MultiChoice Africa maintains its dominance, it is has an edge over most pay television service providers due to its variety of programming including live English Premier League games as well as other soccer matches.
StarSat on the other hand, has seven sports channels including Sports Focus, Sports Arena and Sports Life which beam live soccer games with repeats of the much followed EPL.
In an interview after meeting a group of African journalists, StarTimes Communication Network Technology Group Vice President Guo Ziqi said while the pay television service provider is expanding its footprints on the continent, it is also set to increase the number of channels as well as a content.
“We started broadcasting in Africa in 2008 with Rwanda. Right now, we are in 30 countries reaching out to over 7 million viewers. Our programming is done in 10 different languages including Portuguese, KiSwahili, Yoruba, Hausa and French, just to mention a few.
“We appreciate the needs of our audiences and one common demand from the entire continent is the need for us to beam live English Premier League games. We are working on it and soon we will be on it,” she said.
However, she could not commit as to how soon saying, “We know how much African’s love football; talk of the EPL, the Fifa World Cup, Champions League, Serie A among others. We will put more content to the existing sports channels while we are working on having more soccer leagues on board.
“These are issues of rights and we are still holding discussions and negotiations with the responsible entity. We can therefore not promise as to how soon not until a deal is reached. However, we will get the right to beam the games.”
StarSat has about 300 television channels and some of them include Africa 2, Star Movies, Novela Movies, Aljazeera, CCTV, BBC, CGTN, France 24 and CCTV. It also has children channels such as Nick, Baby TV and JimJam plus 15 Indian channels and 12 Chinese channels.
38 of the channels are in house and the pay television service provider seeks to increase the number in the next few months.
Recently, StarSat Malawi introduced more channels on their decoders, enable viewers to enjoy a wider range of local content. The new channels are Zodiak, MBC and Times television stations.