StarTimes invests $220m in Nigeria’s pay-TV market

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StarTimes has invested over $220 million in Nigeria in a bid to become the market leader and offer quality digital satellite services to the citizens.

David Zhang, new chief executive officer, StarTimes Nigeria, said in Lagos on Monday that the company employs over 1,000 Nigerians directly and more than 3,000 indirectly through its dealers.

Zhang explained that StarTimes is negotiating for broadcasting rights for the upcoming African Cup of Nations, adding that it is also interested in bringing the much-cherished English Premier League to Nigerian viewers when the rights of the current holders expire.

He said that due to the payTV’s partnership with the Nigerian Television Authority, it has free-to-hear  access, stressing that Nigerians will get good return for their money in his tenure, as others before him have done.

“The bidding rights of English Premier League and others do not happen every year. We had Bundesliga rights for three years before it expired in 2018 and we had to renew it. We are interested in broadcasting EPL to Nigerians,” he said.

The payTV market is mostly dominated by MultiChoice’s DStv and StarTimes, with each introducing several new channels to retain customers.

Previous players such as CTL, FSTV, DAARSAT, HiTV and lately, COMSAT and ACtv all promised something big but died natural deaths.

MultiChoice launched in Nigeria in 1993 with DStv. It added a down market platform— GOtv—iIn 2011. On the other hand, StarTimes, also a down market offering, launched in 2010. It added an up-market variant in 2015. Both have remained in business albeit with different levels of success.

Zhang said due to StarTimes’ influence in Africa, the Chinese government selected it to implement access to digital satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages, with Nigeria getting 1,000 of those villages.

“This project is almost …