Eutelsat Communications and Azam Media Ltd., part of the Tanzanian industrial house, Bakhresa Group, this week announced the signature of a long-term contract for capacity on the EUTELSAT 7A satellite. Azam Media will use 108 MHz of capacity connected to the satellite’s African footprint as the platform to broadcast its new TV venture, AzamTV, into sub-Saharan Africa, starting in East Africa, from its base in Tanzania.
Azam Media is in the final stages of preparation to launch AzamTV, a platform of over 55 African and international channels for a monthly subscription of the local equivalent of $8.
The platform will include three home-grown channels, Azam One, Azam Two and Sinema Zetu (films in Kiswahili). It will also broadcast live and recorded Tanzania Premier League matches and carry the top free-to-air channels in each of the countries it covers.
From its target home market in Tanzania, the platform will be commercialised rapidly across East Africa before being extended across sub-Saharan Africa.
AzamTV will be compressed in MPEG4 and uplinked by Eutelsat to the EUTELSAT 7A satellite from its Cagliari teleport in Sardinia. In addition to capacity and uplink services, Eutelsat has developed a training programme for installers called ‘Satelite’ to ensure that subscribers to AzamTV receive the best service for the installation of their DTH equipment.
Over the last two weeks of October the ‘Satellite’ team successfully trained over 500 installers from across Tanzania.
Commenting on the launch, Rhys Torrington, CEO of Azam Media, said: “The arrival of AzamTV as a trans-continental pay-TV platform finally marks the availability of affordable and high-quality digital channels for viewers in Tanzania and way beyond. With the footprint and the services provided by Eutelsat, we benefit from a solid platform and unrivalled DTH experience that will help transform into reality our vision of delivering exceptional entertainment at a great price into ordinary TV homes across the region.”
Jean-Francois Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are delighted to forge this new relationship with a leading Tanzanian company poised to accelerate East Africa’s transition to digital and offer viewers the dual benefits of increased choice and exceptional signal quality. The African footprint and power of EUTELSAT 7A combined with our knowledge of building audience reach and installer training will support this exciting new venture in Africa’s dynamic broadcasting market.”