Kenya: Kirubi’s Capital Group Expands Into Television Broadcasting with CNBC deal


Kenyan businessman Chris Kirubi is expanding into television business in a deal that will see the Capital Group partner with NBC Universal owned by CNBC to launch Kenya's first dedicated business news channel.

The deal will both expose Capital Group to a wider revenue pool by expanding beyond radio to television and it will also give CNBC Africa a much-need free terrestial news channel that will allow it to get into more households and the key upper-income market it targets. The station at first aired on DSTV before striking a deal with KBC.

The partnership underscores the growing interest by both continental and global audiences for Kenyan news. Reuters last year launched a dedicated Africa business channel at the same time as CNBC Africa did and CNN this week announced that it was expanding its coverage of the Kenyan market in a wider plan to expand coverage in the region.

However, even as media giants are eyeing the African news markets, the rising competition comes at a time when advertising spend has been constrained by post-election violence and a proliferation of radio and television outlets. Recently, entrepreneur Rose Kimotho launched K24, a television station.

A partnership between pan-African business channel CNBC with local media house Capital Group will create the new broadcasting firm, known as Capital Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). CBC will stream locally relevant business content on a dedicated television channel to viewers around the country. CBC also hopes the unique partnership will open up opportunities for advertisers who want to reach an upper income target audience in Nairobi. A mix of CNBC Africa programming and local content is expected to draw regional based advertising slots and sponsorship opportunities.

The television station, which has been in the planning stages for almost a year now, will initially broadcast to Nairobi with plans to gradually extend to country-wide coverage. Kirubi said the station would be continuing short broadcasts already available on national broadcaster KBC to continue to raise awareness of the new channel as it commences rolls out across the country.

CNBC is an international business news television network that launched its pan-African channel in June last year. The station markets itself as the first channel of its kind to cater to the information needs viewers, providing business and investment communities with meaningful analysis of the events behind the headlines that relate to how current events can impact on business.

(Business Daily (Nairobi), 20 February 2008)