Kenya: KenTV, Sky to Air Local News in Europe


More than 300,000 Kenyans living in Europe can now access home news on television following the launch of a partnership between pioneer Internet television firm KenTV and satellite broadcaster Sky. Under the partnership, the Kenyan company will broadcast its content on Sky's European network, broadening the reach of the station, which started as an Internet broadcaster. The service, which went live on November 19, is targeted at Kenyans living in Europe.

"A TV service creates a better sense of community and national spirit among Kenyans living abroad," said Joseph Muchemi, Kenya's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. KenTV is among a host of television channels that broadcast through the Internet giving consumers access to news from all corners of the world.

Local broadcasters such as NTV have latched onto this new channel with the launch of a partnership with YouTube to offer free content to viewers throughout the globe. The other major player on the local television scene KTN has partnered with to offer Internet-based broadcasts for as little as Sh400 per day. Unlike many other initiatives, KenTV is free-to-air and has its own team of dedicated news gatherers and producers who create content solely for broadcasting through the Internet portal.

"This has been a major contributor to our success in drawing viewers and advertisers to the website," said KenTV's founder James Gachiri during the launch of the service in the UK. The Sky and KenTV collaboration is the first partnership that enables a traditional broadcaster receive content from an African-based Internet television station. Content is streamed through Sky Channel 194. The site also features content from Ben TV, a Nigerian TV channel based in the UK. KenTV plans to push its streaming service to the mobile phone, said its local office.

(Business Daily (Nairobi), 21 November 2007)