StarTimes keen on Nigeria’s digital television future
ALTHOUGH, current indices from the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) have shown that Nigeria will not meet the June 17 deadline for analogue to digital migration, some PayTv service providers have assured their subscribers of adequate signals even after the deadline.
Just has reports have it that South Africa has asked for about fresh 18 months deadline to switch over, fillers from Abuja, have also shown that Nigeria may also be eyeing same time to switch.
Indeed, it is no more news that funding was majorly responsible for Nigeria’s failure to meet the deadline date set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), despite all preparations made. The NBC had requested about N60 billion from the Federal Government to be able to adequately deliver on the project, but several bottlenecks have hindered release of the budget.
The journey towards the digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DTT), actually started in Nigeria in June 17, 2006, which is about eight years ago. The journey is expected to come to an end on June 17, 2015, some few weeks from now. In 2007, the federal government approved the process of migration, and through the NBC, set a new deadline of January 1, 2015 as the switch off date.
Head of Nigeria’s Digiteam, the group set up to see to the migration, Edward Amana had told The Guardian that all the groundwork and technical specifications necessary for the transition has since been concluded. He reiterated that the major obstacle to the implementation is funding, stressing that lots of work work still need to be done that require funding, “which we are yet to get from government.”
According to him, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries are in various stages of preparedness. He disclosed that Ghana is far ahead in West Africa.
“As soon as the ECOWAS common specifications was harmonized they commenced immediate implementation. As at today most of the major cities in Ghana have switched over to digital. They are sure to meet the June 17 deadline, as well as some Anglophone countries.”
But, despite the challenges confronting the process in Nigeria, StarTimes, a foremost PayTv service provider in Nigeria, is keen on ensuring that its existing and potential subscribers don’t experience blackout when the deadline eventually come.
With focus on creativity and innovation, StarTimes said it would offer more innovative and affordable sought-after channels across its bouquets.
StarTimes covers 80 per cent of the continent’s population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors. StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 320 authorized channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programs, fashion, religion etc
Having broken the barrier hindering Nigerians from owning a Pay TV, StarTimes links several homes across social status to Digital TV, which is a global phenomenon, with its four-television bouquet fully loaded, sought-after channels. Now, StarTimes makes digital TV affordable and enjoyable for Nigerians, including those who are yet to get a decoder. Getting a decoder and recharging regularly has been made very easy and convenient.
The channels are aimed at offering the company’s countless subscribers more robust and improved DTV experience as the country approaches the full Digital TV switch over later in 2015. With this help of StarTimes, Nigerians now enjoys a digital television experience with N600 subscription on Nova, N1, 200 for Basic, Classic for N2, 400 and Unique goes for N3, 600 every month.
Apart from the affordable bouquets, the indigenous service provider also recorded a milestone recently when it signed an exclusive deal with iROKOtv, an online movie platform in France. StarTimes formed a formidable partnership with the company is to offer its over 4.6 million subscribers two new sought-after channels, which are iROKO Play and iROKO Plus, on the leading African Pay TV platform in 14 countries across the globe.
With this feat, StarTimes subscribers now have the choice of viewing several entertaining and educating channels like iROKO Play, which is available on the StarTimes Classic Bouquet, with classic Nollywood movies from 2007 onwards, with a brand new exclusive movie added to the schedule each month or iROKO Plus that is on the StarTimes Unique Bouquet offering premium Nollywood movies from 2011 till date, with the addition of an exclusive brand new movie every week. Others are AMC Series, Star Zone, Child Smile, Star Kungfu, Star Dadin Kowa, CCTV News, Star Music, IQRAA and TBN, and Star Sport Focus.
Commenting on the development, Public Relations Manager, StarTimes, NTA Star-TV Network, Israel Bolaji, stressed the point that digital TV is for all; and as such, it should be affordable to all Nigerians. He further added that, “the increase in the number of relevant channels on the Bouquet was done in a bid to continue to satisfy Nigerians.
We are working hard and smart to prepare Nigerians towards digital migration by offering our customers’ affordable bundle that makes a convenient switch over from analogue to digital television and promote inspirational television experience that creates values.”
The spokesperson explained that the company introduces new channels to break the barrier and offer more affordable and efficient services to both existing and potential subscribers, adding that digital TV is not meant for the high and mighty in the society but for all; and as such, affordable service should not be a barrier for all Nigeri