Radio Africa Group on Monday launched a Free to Air Set Top Box in Nairobi, Kenya. This comes in just under ten days before the set date for digital migration for Nairobi which is on the 31st of December. Bamba TV is a conditional access set-top box that will air both exclusive Bamba tv content and other free to air channels.
At launch Bamba TV which has been in test for over a year airs 50 channels, 24 of which are specific to Bamba TV and are exclusive to the set top box, and others include the general channels available on other free to air channels. Bamba TV has negotiated partnerships with paid content providers to avail it for free within their product.
There are 7 movie channels, 3 of which are African channels and other international ones, there are three cartoon channels, 4 lifestyle channels including fashion TV and cars TV. There is also a 24 hour Telenovela Channel.
Bamba TV is ready for Nairobi and it’s environs Thika and Kiambu with a target for covering Mombasa and Kisumu by end of December and the rest of the country by the end of March. This is a Kshs 500 million investment over the last one year in content production and negotiations with a plan to double that over the next one year.
Bamba TV set-top box which is a terrestrial box is a plug and play which retails for Kshs 3200 and with no subscription fee. According to Carol Mutoko, Radio Africa Group Chief Marketing Officer, the differentiation from anything in the market is so evident. “Our product is incomparable to anything in the competition and we want to be the solution for those who cannot afford to pay a subscription fee for PayTV in the wake of digital migration,” Carol said adding that the people in the flats and other mid to low cost estates will find it steep to start paying for TV.
We are talking to a majority of Kenyans who cannot to pay a monthly subscription – Danny Muchira
“We are talking to a majority of Kenyans who cannot to pay a monthly subscription,” said Danny Muchira, the Bamba TV General Manager. “Kenyans should be ready for digital migration and we are on the table to offer the best product there is in the market. We are offering distribution and signal advantage on top of content differentiation and this makes it necessary for us to sell the box and it’s own transmission system to be able to position their product separate from the competition.”
Bamba TV which is Radio Africa’s newest baby competes directly with GoTV and Startimes on the Set top box offering while on the signal tranmission front with SIGNET and PANG. Bamba TV has the whole hog of infrastructure, channels and content plan. In the market there is other free to air set top boxes, with 61 vendors licensed to sell in Kenya. There is over 1.3 million set-top boxes already sold in Kenya and Bamba TV targets those who would not purchase them because they were not open to start paying for TV, while at the same time offering more than the usual free to air channels on the product.