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Kenya's Zuku TV targets 100 000 Ugandan viewers

Zuku TV, a consumer brand of the Wananchi Group has an ambitious plan to register 100 000 subscribers in Uganda in the next two years.
Kenya's Zuku TV targets 100 000 Ugandan viewers

"Zuku has been very well received in Uganda so far and considering the pipeline of exciting content that we have lined up to offer, we are confident to reach more than one hundred households within twenty four months," said Richard Bell, the Wananchi Group CEO.

Zuku's foray into Uganda is fuelled by a growing middle-class, the burgeoning local film industry, a great thirst for quality local and international entertainment, and about 14 million TV households has attracted Zuku to Uganda.

"Survey statistics place the total national pay television penetration at less than five percent, reflecting the market opportunity is therefore huge and the onus is on all of us to work together with the industry to create and produce great local content. Zuku will provide the platform for showcasing it," added Bell.

Zuku TV is ramping up Ugandan distribution by boosting the team of resellers with additional agents that will complement the Simba Telecom outlets. The company has trained 150 agents who will work closely with Simba Telcom and an installation team to deliver the product to clients and provide after sales support.

Bell says Zuku is uniquely positioned in East Africa as an African service made by Africans for Africa. "For the first time in the history of Uganda's film and television industry, the local producers and creative writers have a platform to showcase their work not just for audiences in Uganda but across ten eastern African countries," he noted.

Zuku is also set to put significant investment into local content across Uganda and have already kicked off by screening the popular locally produced drama series, 'Hostel' in all it's territories after acquiring the rights to broadcast it. Kenyan viewers will also be able to watch Ugandan content and Ugandans will be able to watch Kenyan content.

Unreliable power supply is a major challenge in Uganda and to overcome this, Zuku is providing decoders that can be run by a simple used car battery. Going to Uganda forms part of a greater plan by the Wananchi Group to roll out in the three East African countries by the end of 2011. Zuku was first launched in Kenya, the company's headquarters and the next market is Tanzania.

About Carole Kimutai

Carole Kimutai is a writer and editor based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently an MA student in New Media at the University of Leicester, UK. Follow her on Twitter at @CaroleKimutai.

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