Zuku in US $ 4.6 million satellite services upgrade




As part of its strategy to grow subscriber base, East Africa’s pay-tv provider Zuku, has announced a US $ 4.6 million upgrade of its satellite services.

The investment is aimed at upgrading Zuku Satellite services to an advanced and bigger capacity satellite well known as SES 5 from the current NSS 12.

(TOP: Zuku EA Head of Marketing Irene Muratha explains the way the Zuku satellite dish will be redirected after the firm announced US $4.6 million upgrade of its satellite services to Wananchi Group CEO Richard Bell. The million dollars investments, was aimed at upgrading Zuku Satellites services to an advanced and bigger capacity satellite well known as SES 5 from the current NSS 12).

Wananchi Group CEO Richard Bell said: “The new transponder provides us with more capacity, meaning; we have space to put up more channels for our subscribers’ entertainment.”

Among the channels include Zuku Movies Max HD, Zuku Sports HD, One Music, CCTV9, CCTV4, CCTV News, DW (Deutsche Welle) News, Swahili Movies, Setanta Action, UTV, Shorts Movies and Zee Khana Kazana. Other five channels will broadcast later in the month.

The channels will be airing on Zuku bouquets – Zuku Classic (Kshs 999); Zuku Premium (Kshs 1,999; Asia Classic (Kshs 1,499) and Asia Premium at Kshs 2,999.

Bell added that the upgrade is under progress since the installers have to visit subscribers at home to redirect the satellite dish.

“The main upgrade at our transmission centre is complete, what is remaining is to redirect our customers satellite dishes,” said Bell.

However, Bell said that there will be no costs transferred to the customers during and after the upgrade, adding that Zuku Installers will simply visit home and re-direct satellite dish from east (current position) to west (new position).

“Zuku is committed to providing wholesome family entertainment; this requires us to invest in obtaining content that provides our customers with the variety and choice that they require. This content has to sit somewhere, hence the investment in this transponder that allows us the capacity to host the additional content,” added Bell.

At the same time, Bell disclosed that the investment has given Zuku a wider footprint in Sub-Sahara Africa; hence “Zuku services will be enjoyed in countries within the wider East and Central Africa countries, considering that the SES 5 satellite transponder has in-line with our growth ambitions.”

Another benefit that Zuku subscribers will have is they will enjoy HD channels. “This upgrade will enhance the viewers’ experience because we now will be able to broadcast some of our programs in HD (High definition). HD services demand a lot of transponder capacity and with the upgrade, we will be able to deliver; that will not be an issue,” said Bell.

The upgrade will take place in all the East African countries where Zuku has operations – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The process will be done once and installers visit Zuku subscribers home and re-point the satellite dish, instantly upgrading the customer.

Channels to be added in the bouquets include Zuku Movies Max HD, Zuku Sports HD, DW (Deutsche Welle) News and One Music among others; however new subscribers’ satellite dishes will automatically be installed in the west.

Strategically, Zuku is aggressively pushing for growth within the wider East Africa market. Zuku has successfully launched service in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There has been tremendous interest and uptake of the service in these countries thus far.




2 Comments

  1. Without English Premier League, Zuku will continue to suffer. What they need to concentrate on is home broadband. There is a huge opportunity there. Satellite TV, leave that to DSTV.

  2. SES worldskies offers some of the most expensive satellite capacity in the world today. Zuku will have higher operating cost per channel compared to DSTv. They will find it difficult to meet these costs at their current retail price point. I foresee them increasing their retail pricing significantly or they will close shop. This was the same predicament that G-TV faced when they rolled out, they had too much overhead in the form of satellite capacity costs and program rights. If i were Richard Bell, I would approach the likes of AMOS spacecom or Intelsat for capacity.

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