Nigeria: StarTimes Hits 400,000 Subscriber Base


Latest entrant to the Nigerian Pay TV market, popularly known as StarTimes, has grown subscriber base to 400,000 in barely 10 months in operation in Nigeria.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Champion in his office at the weekend, Advert/Publicity Manager of the group Chidi Celestine Umeibe said tremendous progress has been made in the last 10 months of service delivery, noting that NTA-Star Television Network Limited, owners of StarTimes Pay TV platform in Nigeria has given Nigeria course to access TV entertainment with ease.

He said "StarTimes entered Nigerian market officially on July 28, 2010 with confidence which has played out to be a worthwhile investment on the side of the company and reception of quality TV entertainments on the side of subscribers".
"Currently, we are planning our first year anniversary and I must confess that it has been progressive. Today we are talking about close to 400,000 subscriber base in just five cities on our network and many are still coming on stream”.

Continuing, Umeibe said "StarTimes is a digital terrestrial television company registered in China in 1988," adding that "StarTimes China used to be in the Business-to-Business market and at a time the group felt the need to explore the African market".

"By extension, the company thought wise to invest in Pay TV sector in the Nigerian economy and today we are pushing into the Nigerian market with strength.

He described StarTimes as a great advantage for Nigerian local TV stations wishing to move from analogue to digital transmission considering the new deadline given by federal government to TV stations considering the new ITU deadline of 2015 to move from analogue to digital terracestal broadcasting.

He noted further that "StarTimes China also saw the need to explore the African market considering that many of the TV networks in the continent are yet to upgrade".

"The target amongst others is to help in the upgrade of African TV networks from analogue to terrestrial before 2015 and as am talking to you now, progress is being made in that wise. You know the Nigerian deadline is 2012 for switch over. Here in StarTimes, we see the deal at a timely effort to help Nigerians get in real touch with the world and at the same time move from analogue to digital broadcasting after all.

According to him, StarTimes has a policy of rolling out on a state-by-state basis, revealing that "we rolled out first in FCT, Lagos , Kano , Oyo and Rivers States and currently we are looking at new 12 states including Abia, Anambra, Kaduna and others before the end of the year. "It's important to reveal that in the business of DTTB, StarTimes have about seven million subscribers in China .

He said "NTA being the largest TV network in Africa and Nigeria, it needed a firm that has what it takes to move from analogue to digital broadcasting and that is one of the main considerations for the partnership. We in StarTimes believe that NTA will definitely meet the target deadline of 2012 in changing from analogue to digital system of transmission.

Explaining that "Digital Terrestrial Transmission is the technology while the operation is Digital Terrestrial Transmission Broadcasting, he disclosed that Digital Video Broadcasting Cable (BVBC) and Digital Video Broadcasting Satellite (DVBS) which many of StarTimes competitors use are not as good as DTTB in use by the new company".

"In our own which is DTTB all you need is just to mount your antenna and pick our digital signals immediately no long processes, no waiting, just plug in and play as we normally say.

PS: Chidi Celestine Umeibe, StarTimes Advert/Publicity Manager confirmed to Balancing Act that the company registers an average subscription of 30,000 per month.