East Africa's Zuku increases its channel line-up
Rebecca Hawkes | 31-05-2013

Zuku has added 11 new channels to its pay-TV platform in East Africa, adding short films, Bollywood blockbusters, Swahili movies, Indian food and international news channels to its roster.

Having taken capacity on the SES 5 satellite, Zuku has now added Shorts TV, which has not been aired before in Africa, along with popular Hindi movie channel UTV Movies to its satellite bouquet.

The Wananchi Group-owned operator is also introducing its own-branded offerings of Zuku Swahili Movies, which will air a range of East African films subtitled in English, and Zuku Movies Max HD a high definition version of its existing channel. The Kenya-based operator has also launched a one-hour time-shift version of Zuku Movies Max.

Indian food channel Zee Khana Kazana from Zee TV is also new to Zuku, while African music channel One Music - previously only available on Zuku's cable platform - has been added to the satellite bouquet.

Sports content has also increased with the addition of Setanta Action, which focuses primarily on combat and action sports, and Zuku Sport HD, an HD version of the Zuku Sports channel that includes programming from Manchester United's MUTV and Arsenal TV, as well as motorsport, athletics, basketball, boxing and mixed martial arts.

CCTV News from China Central Television and DW News from German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle have been added by Zuku, along with Chinese documentary channel CCTV9 and general interest channel CCTV4. The latter is in Mandarin, with some programming subtitled in English.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the new portfolio of channels we are able to offer Zuku's audiences. The spectrum of content acquired through these new carriage deals further reinforces our mandate to provide the market with excellent range, relevance and value for their money," said Hannelie Bekker, managing director of Wananchi Programming.

Zuku is currently available in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Having invested in a transponder on SES 5 and switched from NSS 12, the pay-TV operator is now able to reach a larger audience in sub-Saharan Africa, and has expansion plans throughout East Africa.