African pay-TV platform Zuku TV has completed its test phase and is ready for full-scale operations in Malawi, its owner the Wananchi Group and local partner NICO Holdings have confirmed.

Richard Alden, CEO, Wananchi Group said "over 13 million households in the East Africa region can access Zuku TV services and now with the launch into Malawi we have pushed the number to 14 million.

"Our goal is to ensure the majority if not all households in the country have access to our world class digital television content at very affordable subscription charges."

Wananchi has invested some K4 billion (US$10 million) into the service, which has been available in test transmission since April. Coming on the back of Malawi's migration from analogue to digital terrestrial TV, Zuku will now provide subscribers with around 105 TV channels, said Alden.

"As a Malawian multinational company, we constantly seek to uplift the standards of the Malawian living experience. The entry of Zuku TV into the market will enable more Malawians to enjoy a high quality yet affordable entertainment and we are proud to be part of that process," said Felix Mlusu, MD, NICO Holdings Ltd.

Zuku TV is already available via direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as cable in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Wananchi Group is also eyeing launches in Ethiopia and Rwanda later this year.