The Standard Group has partnered with Bamba TV in a deal that promises to be a game changer in the digital television space.
The company said it has invested Sh300 million in the deal that will see it co-own the digital platform with Lancia Digital Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Radio Africa Limited.
The partnership will see the two companies leverage on their strengths in the media space to grow their market share as well as boost distribution of the popular Bamba platform that was rolled out over the last 12 months.
“Through Bamba TV, we will not only continue to offer the very best of KTN but also a multiplicity of competitive international and local channels for our viewers across the entire country.
“We are offering our advertisers increased variety from a channel perspective while ensuring a higher return on investment with targeted and specific audiences,” said Standard Group Chief Executive Officer Sam Shollei.
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“We will also be looking to develop and adapt international formats and shows for the local market so that we can not only meet audience expectations but start to define new content categories,” he added.
Lancia Digital Broadcasting launched Bamba TV, a free to view service in December 2014.
Bamba is accessible through a one-off purchase of a set top box currently retailing at Sh3,599.
Thereafter, the programming is free of charge for life and consumers will not be required to pay any monthly subscriptions.
Bamba has already rolled out 13 broadcast sites across the country, with 70 per cent coverage of Television households. The service carries over 30 local and international channels, the majority of which were previously only available on Pay TV.
“We will be looking to roll out an additional 12 sites while optimising the current 13 that we already have in place over the next nine months,” said Radio Africa Limited CEO Patrick Quarcoo.
“This signals the importance of developing partnerships that are underpinned by the resolve to provide solutions for common challenges,” he added. The Standard Group and Radio Africa Limited have now become the first local broadcasters to fully embrace digital migration and offer a converged television solution made up of the very best local and international programming.
“We totally are supportive of the digital migration initiative and this partnership heralds a new television era for the ordinary Kenyan – the best TV channels free for the rest of their lives,” Mr Shollei said.
“We will also create a diversity of content and give Kenyan producers an opportunity to build and launch their own channels on Bamba TV,” he added.
The partnership will see KTN offer more and diverse programming via the Bamba TV platform, ensuring that it continues to be the preferred home of family entertainment in the country.
Bamba TV is positioned as Kenya’s premier family entertainment platform airing cartoons for children, movies, entertainment and fashion channels for women, sports and news channels for men as well as documentary channels. The free–to-view package on digital terrestrial television is a first in Africa.
Over the next five years, it is expected that the company will invest up to Sh1 billion in the service subject to regulatory approval.
Lancia is a subsidiary of Radio Africa, which owns Classic 105FM, Kiss 100FM, Radio Jambo, XFM and East FM. It also owns the STAR newspaper.
The Standard Group publishes two leading newspapers: The Standard and The Nairobian and owns two of Kenya’s top TV channels - KTN Home and KTN News - and a radio station; Radio Maisha.
The company also runs an outdoor media advertising business under the trade name Think Outdoor and the group’s news website (Standard Digital) is the Number 1 news site in Kenya today.