A new satellite delivered pay-TV service is to launch into Africa. Gateway Communications is planning a bouquet of international and locally originated content into the pan-African market that it believes is currently underserved. A decision on which satellite will be used is expected in the next few days ahead of a May launch in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The mix of sports, movies, popular series, education and religious content includes a number of in-house channels. Gateway’s Rees Torrington told Broadband TV News that contracts with Sky News, BBC World and Al Jazeera had already been signed. G Prime will focus on movies and entertainment while G Sports 1 and G Sports 2 will focus on live sports events including the major European football leagues.
The service will launch in mid-2007 with a phased rollout across sub-Saharan Africa. Technology partnerships have already been established with NDS for content protection and Tandberg for video compression. The zapper-style set-top boxes are being manufactured by Coship.
Gateway Communications has been active in the African market since 1991 providing voice, data and e-commerce solutions by satellite.
In recent years a number of DTH platforms have challenged the dominance of MultiChoice in the African region. They include FSTV and Trend TV.