Azam Media, owned by Tanzanian conglomerate Bakhresa Group, is ramping up satellite capacity through a new transponder leased on the powerful Eutelsat 7B satellite.

Complementing capacity used on the copositioned Eutelsat 7A satellite, it will host new services for the rapidly growing AzamTV pay-TV platform.

Launched just 18 months ago, AzamTV counts 200,000 subscribers in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The new capacity will enable AzamTV to extend its services to Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, South Sudan and Zimbabwe with additional content. Further expansion is planned using the company’s state-of-the-art studio complex and headend facility in Dar es Salaam that was inaugurated on 6 March by Jakaya Kikwete, the President of Tanzania.

AzamTV is boosting its line-up of over 55 channels with a new offer called “Azam Reloaded”, launched on 1 March and featuring a full decoder/dish kit for $55 and three package options.

Rhys Torrington, CEO of Azam Media, commented on the new contract: “Eutelsat’s satellite capacity and unrivalled DTH experience enabled us to launch an exceptional entertainment offer at a great price. This new contract equips us with the resources to fast track our development and further enhance the services we offer subscribers across our target markets. It also paves the way for an acceleration of HD content that raises the bar for further quality.”

Michel Azibert, Chief Commercial and Development Officer of Eutelsat, added: “AzamTV is one of the most exciting digital broadcasting ventures launched in Africa over the last 18 months. Compelling and attractively priced content, a strong retail network and high-power reach over Africa are the assets Azam has assembled to play its part in the digital broadcasting wave. We are delighted to be their chosen satellite partner and to see our 7° East position, occupied by two copositioned satellites, firmly rooted in Africa’s TV landscape.”

(On the picture President Kikwete of Tanzania (right) being interviewed by AzamTV’s Tido Mhando)