Nigeria: Startimes plans N15bn investment in pay TV

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Digital terrestrial television network provider, Startimes, has mapped out strategies to invest over N15bn in the pay television sector in its expansion drive for the year 2013.

Speaking at a press conference to unveil new products and services on Tuesday in Abuja, the Chief Operation Officer of Startimes, Mr. Joshua Wang, and Director of Operations, Mr. Maxwell Loko, said the company’s subscription base had hit one million.

The Chinese company, which currently has a partnership arrangement with the Nigerian Television Authority, described terrestrial broadcasting all over the world as being capital intensive, but gave an indication of fresh injection of funds until it could compete effectively with other service providers.

With the new plan, it is expected that the volume of investment would have hit N30bn before the end of the year, having already invested over N15bn within two years of operation in Nigeria, the officials said.

According to them, the next phase of the company’s expansion drive is to cover additional 15 states before the end of the year, having already established presence in 16 states across the country.

Speaking on the impact of the Startimes investment in the country, Loko said the new expansion plan would generate about 8,000 direct and indirect jobs.

He said, “Since the company began operation in Nigeria about two years ago, we have been able to provide unequal services to Nigerians. Our services are not only cheap; we have been able to demonstrate that Nigerians from all walks of life can have access to digital television.

“At present, the company has over 700 Nigerians on its pay roll and it intends to generate additional 3,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs through its new expansion strategies.”

Some of the company’s new products, according to him, include the Startimes DVB-T2 decoder, which will enable subscribers have access to over 70 channels; provision of door-to-door after sale service; and Startimes M50 mobile television, which will only be available to subscribers in Lagos and Abuja.

In order to serve the millions of soccer-loving Nigerians, he explained that the company was in discussion with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria to secure the right to show the forthcoming African Cup of Nations tournament.

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