Malawi: Wananchi Group to Invest U.S.$10 Million in Malawi to Launch Zuku TV


Barely three months after Malawi government successfully migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting, Wananchi Group, owner of payTV channel Zuku, has announced plans to venture into Malawi by investing about US $ 10 million to launching Zuku TV in the country.

Commenting on the new venture, Wananchi Group CEO, Richard Alden noted, "We believe through our compelling offering- a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies, documentaries and music we are inevitably contributing to the country's digital knowledge and economy infrastructure. Our goal is to ensure the majority if not all households in the country have access to our world class digital television content at very affordable subscription charges."

Alden added that with over 105 channel options now available on Zuku TV, Wananchi Group will keep making it even better not only through competitive pricing but also spicing up content in an effort to give value for money while keeping subscribers informed and entertained.

Zuku launched in Nairobi (on its cable network) in 2009 and Direct To Home Services in Kenya and Uganda in late 2011 and Tanzania in 2012. "I am pleased to note that over 13 million households in the East Africa region can access Zuku TV services and now with the launch into Malawi we are we have pushed the number to 16 million households". Mr Alden went on to say. Malawi now becomes the fourth country to have Zuku TV after Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Zuku is also making its presence more tangible in the markets in which it operates through sponsorships of various initiatives; In Kenya and Tanzania Zuku has invested $ 1 million in event sponsorship of the annual Zanzibar International Film Festival for 10 years. In Kenya and Uganda, Zuku launched an ambitious inter university basketball tournament dubbed Zuku Basketball league for more than $ 500,000 investment for 3 years. In Malawi, Zuku TV will be looking to partner and work hand in hand with Malawian artists to give them a platform to promote their talents.

As a brand, Zuku is committed in enriching the product offering through accessible, affordable and relevant content. "We believe that there is a rapidly growing market segment that is eager to be part of a digital multi-channel television world for the range and choice that it offers to the whole family. Our offering has been structured to meet that need - and we see a truly exciting opportunity in this. As an East African company we are committed to maintaining a close focus on this market, and are delighted to be a part of its growth" concluded Mr. Alden.

After Malawi, Wananchi Group plans to venture into Ethiopia and Rwanda by end 2014.

Source: CIO East Africa (Nairobi), LILIAN MUTEGI, 1 April 2014