StarTimes doles out Sh200 million to support Kenyan film production

Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Dr. Ezekiel Mutua (Right) and Communication Authority Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi officially launch StarTimes Ksh. 200 Million investment on local content development that will be channeled through Rembo TV. Looking on is Kenya Film Commission CEO Mr. Timothy Owase (third right), StarTimes CEO Mr. Andy Wang and StarTimes content Director Mr. Michael Mugo (left).

Local content developers have today received a shot in the arm following Pay Television Company StarTimes Media move to unveil of a Sh200 million investment towards the company’s progressive efforts for the development of local content that will be available to the platform’s subscribers through a self-produced channel – Rembo TV.

The company has partnered with over 30 content developers in the country towards the development of Rembo TV an entertainment channel with a key focus on reality television shows targeting the women audience and with a language policy comprising of 60 percent Kiswahili, 30 percent English and 10 percent vernacular.

Speaking during the unveil, StarTimes Chief Executive Officer Andy Wang noted that the company has responded to the growing appeal for authentic Kenyan content that subscribers can easily relate with as it rolls out exciting fresh shows that are expected to sustain the channel’s subscriber appeal moving forward.

“Our investment in Rembo TV is a statement of our long term commitment to the Kenyan market. As the 24 hour channel goes live, we intend to be home of uninterrupted entertainment attending to our subscribers demand for reality TV shows,” noted Wang.

Rembo TV will be available across three East African countries that is Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda thereby presenting an enviable platform to market Kenyan productions across the region.

During the event, Communication Authority Director General Francis Wangusi noted that, “In recent times, there is increased vibrancy in the local broadcasting industry where artists have more platforms to showcase their work. I wish to challenge broadcasters to also focus on niche content such as the Children content towards achieving the 60% local content threshold.”

Kenya Film Commission Chief Executive Officer Timothy Owase noted the continued investments in local productions is an indicator of the growth experienced in the industry with the commission aggressively positioning Kenyan productions to rival other competing industries in neighboring Tanzania and Nigeria.

“As local and foreign investors continue to show a keen interest in our work, it is a challenge to the industry players to continue churning out content that will effectively face off with the stiff competition from neighboring Tanzania and Nigeria. Rembo TV is a continuation of progressive efforts to not only grow viewership locally, but equally sustaining the industry as a viable business opportunity for both content developers as well as the artists,” said Owase.

The channel will be available on all the StarTimes bouquet options both on terrestrial and satellite platforms with the company eyeing growth in subscriber retention as well as listing new subscribers keen on the improved content towards growing the pay television company’s market share.

Kenya Film Classification Board Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua noted, “It is encouraging to see more broadcast players taking local content production seriously key in enabling our brothers and sisters in creative arts professionalize their talents given the immense talent found across Kenya,”.

These latest developments follow closely to the recent terrestrial bouquet realignment which resulted to the pay television platform effecting a 50 percent price drop for its superior Classic bouquet which is now retailing at only Sh749 with the other two bouquets being Basic and Nyota retailing at Sh599 and Sh259 respectively.

The broadcaster’s satellite television platform has the monthly subscription option of Super, Smart or Nova bouquet retailing at Sh1,499, Sh899 or Sh449 respectively.

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