StarTimes’ PANG Broadens Reach Secures Four Additional TV Frequencies

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StarTimes' PANG Broadens Reach Secures Four Additional TV Frequencies

StarTimes' PANG Broadens Reach Secures Four Additional TV Frequencies

Chinese-owned broadcaster Pan Africa Network Group (PANG) has expanded its television network reach in Kenya by acquiring four new television broadcasting frequencies from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

PANG, which is majority-owned by China’s StarTimes China Africa Digital TV Media Ltd with a 93.75 percent stake, now holds a total of 129 assigned frequencies, up from 125.

This acquisition solidifies PANG’s position as the broadcaster with the largest number of frequencies in the country.

The CA, in its annual report for the year ending June 2023, noted the assignment of four additional Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) frequencies, bringing the total number of assignments to 362, up from 358 in the previous year.

“The Authority assigned four additional DTT frequencies bringing the cumulative number of assignments to 362, compared to 358 in the previous year,” said CA in its annual report for the year to June 2023.

StarTimes, founded in China in 1988 and launched in Africa in 2008, has been intensifying competition in Kenya’s broadcasting market, traditionally dominated by major networks like MultiChoice, provider of DStv and GOtv.

In recent years, StarTimes has focused on expanding its content offerings to increase viewership, encompassing sports, reality shows, movies, children’s programming, business news, and more.

Despite various broadcasting platforms available, DTT remains the preferred choice for accessing subscription broadcasting services in Kenya since the country’s transition from analogue to digital transmission nearly a decade ago.

According to CA, approximately 70.4 percent of subscriptions to broadcasting services in Kenya, totaling about 4.48 million subscribers as of December 2023, are through DTT. Director-to-Home (DTH) services, on the other hand, accounted for 28.4 percent of total subscriptions during the same period.

The relative affordability of monthly subscription fees on DTT compared to cable and DTH services has facilitated mass access, particularly among lower-market segments.

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