DTT opens up new opportunities for broadcasters in Rwanda: Flash TV’s CEO Louis B. Kimanzi in interview

24 February 2017

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Rwanda may not be one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest TV markets but the transition to DTT has created a platform with 40 TV channels. This has spurred the launch of 10 new local TV stations. Russell Southwood interviewed the CEO of one of them, Flash TV’s Louis B.Kimanzi.

Q: Why has the TV market in Rwanda opened up in the last few years?

A: Rwanda as any other country is recognizing the growth of television viewing as a mode for easy reach of information

With the opening of digital broadcasting in 2014 it was easy for those interested in investing in television to start up.

Q: Why did you decide to launch a new TV channel?

A: We have been in media business for since 2000 and in broadcast business since 2004, we have grown from writing magazines and dairies to FM broadcast, online streaming and now TV broadcast. It’s no surprise that when in a business, you explore to the end.

Our TV station is on air and very popular with local programs oriented to our audience.

Q: What other media does your company operate?

A: As you may be aware Flash has an FM station and its on the Internet for listeners who are beyond the geographical area of Rwanda and any other that would find listening on line convenient. We have a very big following in the diaspora, who either read our online posts or use audio in various platforms. We are soon going to stream our radio on Facebook The TV similarly will follow the same trend.

Q: What kind of programming does your TV channel run (eg entertainment, sports, news. etc)

A: Our TV channel runs a variety of programs, ranging from talk shows to sports , news and entertainment, we focus our programming on the audience choice.

Q: Do you produce local content? What type of local content?

A: We produce most of the content we use on our stations, the range of content we produce and run are news , documentaries and promotional content. We also partner with local production houses to get content like local films, dramas and lot other stuff.

Q: Who are the TV competitors in the Rwandan market?

Since digital migration, Rwanda has seen more than 10 local TV stations open up, also on the market are foreign players who have opened due to the digital facilities available. If you are on air, you will be seen through a decoder that has over 40 channels. Each is a competitor in one way or another and that’s the reason you must know your audience and adjust your content accordingly.

Q: Which brands advertise on the TV channel?

A: We carry most brands but we also have religious preachers and health products providers who reach their followers though our platform. Government and NGOs are also our potential clients

Q: What's the platforms that the channel goes out on?

As indicated earlier, our TV digital signal goes through the platforms of signal distributers licenced by government , then aggregated through converter boxes.

Q: How big do you think your audience will be (% market share?) and how is it compared with your competitors?

A: Our audience can only grow and that’s our hope. Being new, we are yet to measure the specific %, but as of now we are already attaining 10-20% of the audience

Q: What sort of local and international content are you looking for?

A: We need a lot of local content almost in all fields, it would be too big for us to think of having it all in one go. Local content providers are coming up with proposals.

As for international content, we seek what is on the market and what our budgets can allow.


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