StarTimes fights DStv over exclusive content

Chinese pay TV company StarTimes has appealed to the Kenyan government to force DStv, its main competitor in the local market, to resell some of its exclusive content, including English Premier League matches.

Michael Wu, managing director of Pan-Africa Network Group, a licensed broadcasting signal distributor in Kenya, said Multichoice, the owners of DStv, should allow Kenyans a chance to get more quality content and that StarTimes was willing to buy the content.

“We have held talks with the necessary authorities on this issue and discussions are still ongoing. We are willing to buy the content from Multichoice and sell it to consumers at a more affordable rate, as it happens in other markets like Nigeria,” said Wu in an interview with The Nation.

Wu said Pan-Africa Network Group had already gained a significant share of the Kenyan market with over 130,000 subscribers in less than a year, and with a more levelled competition ground they can gain more clients.

“Having exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League is the only advantage our competitor has over us,” Wu added.

The campaign to have DStv resell part of its exclusive rights to competitors has been going on for a while. In June last year, the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) moved to force DStv to sell the content to rivals.

MultiChoice has, however, overlooked the assertions and has since called it its competitive advantage over its rivals. Analysts observe that the exclusive content has made the TV company remain at the helm of competition for the last 20 years by gaining a loyal customer base of over two million subscribers in several African countries.

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