StarTimes in 2019: Key milestones that defined the previous year

Since entering the African market in 2008, StarTimes has spared no effort to realize its ambitious vision: “To ensure that every African family can access, afford, watch and share the beauty of digital TV”. And today, StarTimes serves 30 million users in 37 countries. This phenomenal growth made StarTimes the Africa’s most dynamic TV operator.

And this has been made possible thanks to StarTimes’ innovation and dedication to providing the best content to its users. Moreover, StarTimes made a priority of giving back to the community by supporting local NGOs, African movie industry and innovators.

WildAid and StarTimes establish partnership

NGO WildAid and digital TV operator StarTimes formally established a partnership in Beijing. WildAid and StarTimes work together to raise awareness on wildlife conservation across StarTimes’ broadcast network in Africa.

StarTimes Group VP, Luis Lu, explained that “As a bridge between China and Africa, StarTimes now joins the fight of protecting Africa’s wildlife. Through its Network, StarTimes will help to make sure that every African people know how priceless their wildlife is.”

Pan-African Online Film Festival (PAOFF)

StarTimes launched the first edition of an event called the Pan-African Online Film Festival (PAOFF) aimed at encouraging African local online film creation by giving them a platform to reach online users.

First launched in Nigera, PAOFF is a competition awarding prizes to movies, short films and music videos based on a fan’s voting system.

In Kenya, StarTimes partnered with the Kenya Film Commission. The Commission has identified StarTimes ON as a strategic platform ahead of the 9th edition of Kalasha International Film and TV Awards.

Mr. Timothy Owase – CEO Kenya Film Commission noted that, “this will boost the audiovisual industry in the country, empower filmmakers and make filmmaking a rewarding venture. The partnership opens a broader market for our local filmmakers to showcase their talent with the platform also ensuring that our content can traverse our borders thus exerting a great sphere of influence in the region.”

Exclusive TV shows

In 2019, the media group produced seven original TV shows in six countries. In Kenya, Hello Mr. Right was renewed for a season 2 after becoming a hit when first aired in December 2018. After Nigeria and Zambia, the dating show conquered Kenya and is now being adapted in Cote d’Ivoire.

Kenyan talk show star Vinie Chipukeezy didn’t find love while traveling with Ugandan actor Roger Mugisha in Tanzania. But they lived a real adventure exploring local food, scenery, culture, history and specialties, and experience the charm and mysteries of Tanzania in the show Dream Destination.

Learning how to live together was the ultimate purpose of Ça passe ou ça casse, a new TV show filmed in DRC during which families would come in the studio to talk about their problems and try to find a solution.

Original TV series

In 2019, StarTimes produced several original TV series, in Nigeria but also in DRC. From Alagbara season 2 to Memuna and Paper Boat, StarTimes delighted Nigerian subscribers with creative and exciting series. Congolese viewers also enjoyed La Fille du Serpent and, during Christmas season, three more TV series, ZosurunaZanga Mbongo and La Vengeance aux deux visages.

Lily Meng says that: “StarTimes is commited toward supporting the development of local capacities. There is a lot of potential in Africa, a lot of talented people who are only missing an opportunity to show what they can do. We want to give them this opportunity.”

Rembo TV for exclusive local content

In August, StarTimes announced a partnership with over 30 local content developers in Kenya towards the development of Rembo TV, an entertainment channel with a key focus on reality television shows targeting the women audience and with a language policy comprising of 60% Kiswahili, 30% English and 10% vernacular.

Speaking during the unveil, StarTimes CEO Andy Wang noted that the company has responded to the growing appeal for authentic Kenyan content that subscribers can easily relate with as it rolls out exciting fresh shows that are expected to sustain the channel’s subscriber appeal moving forward.

“Our investment in Rembo TV is a statement of our long term commitment to the Kenyan market. As the 24 hour channel goes live, we intend to be home of uninterrupted entertainment attending to our subscribers demand for reality TV shows,” noted Wang.

Rembo TV is available across three East African countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

FIBA World Cup 2019

StarTimes broadcast last September the 18th FIBA Basketball World Cup hosted by China. Basketball fans were delighted to be able to follow the competition during which Angola, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria kept the African flag flying.

UEFA Euro 2020

Early August, StarTimes acquired UEFA National Team Football broadcasting rights between 2019 and 2022. This includes UEFA EURO 2020 which will be played from June 12 to July 12, 2020 and UEFA Nations League 2020/21.

StarTimes Sports Director Shi Maochu said: “We always seek to bring the best sport content to our subscribers and by acquiring all UEFA national team football events, we make sure our subscribers can enjoy the best matches up to next FIFA World Cup.”

The Emirates FA Cup

Just in time for Christmas, StarTimes announced it secured acquired the Emirates FA Cup and the FA Community Shield broadcasting rights until 2021.

StarTimes Sport Director Shi Maochu said: “this is a significant step for StarTimes. The Emirates FA Cup and the FA Community Shield are among the most competitive national football events.”

Bundesliga Football School

StarTimes in collaboration with the German Bundesliga, have rolled out a project dubbed “Bundesliga Football School” and targeted at developing young football talents and coaches in Ghana.

The event’s approach is to join with national soccer associations, soccer leagues and professional clubs to encourage talented young soccer players at the local level. Former German captain and a 1990 FIFA world cup winner, Lothar Matthäus was also in Accra to encourage the young talents and share his footballing experience.

Head of Marketing at StarTimes Ghana, Mrs. Akofa Banson said that “StarTimes, the brand that introduced affordable pay-tv to Ghanaians 3 years ago is seeking to give back to Ghanaians with this Football school project through our partnership with Bundesliga.”

Kalasha awards’ nominated films on StarTimes ON mobile app

The Kenya Film Commission signed a deal with StarTimes Kenya ahead of the ninth edition of the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards, an annual event by the Commission to celebrates exceptional talent in Film and TV.

The Commission identified StarTimes ON, the payTV firm’s mobile app, as a strategic platform where the shortlisted films would be uploaded for viewing and public voting from October 30 to November 30, 2019 before the awards’ gala.

StarTimes’ awards

In 2019, StarTimes achievements were recognized as the company was awarded 15 prizes in nine countries. It was chosen in three different countries as best pay-TV provider: Kenya (KUZA Awards 2019), Uganda (People’s Choice Quality Awards) and Ghana (Business and Financial Services Excellence Awards).

StarTimes was also acknowledged as an innovative company. StarTimes ON was awarded with the Africa Best Content App prize during the DIAA 2019 Award of Excellence, and the East Africa Youth Development Agency selected StarTimes as Leader and best company in Digital and Innovation.


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