Azam TV launches in Rwanda

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 23 April 2015

Tanzania's Azam TV has launched its direct-to-home (DTH) pay-TV service in Rwanda, following its entrance in the Kenyan broadcasting market in December 2014.

Azam TV will provide competition for Rwanda's existing subscription-based TV platforms StarTimes and Tele10, which markets MultiChoice's DStv and GOtv services along with the French pay-TV network Canal+.

Both StarTimes and DStv are raising fees to their pay-TV services in the East African country.

"We are coming in at a time when Rwandans need an affordable pay TV... In fact, our entry will greatly benefit subscribers," Faradjallah Ndagano, Azam Media's operations manager, told The New Times.

The new entrant to Rwanda offers two channel bouquets. The first, for English speakers, has 80 channels priced at RWF6,500 per month. The second, for French speakers, has 60 channels for RWF9,000 a month. Both are available for a combined total of RWF18,000 a month.

Just 200,000 of Rwanda's population of over 11.5 million people own digital set top boxes, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).

Azam, which is the flagship brand of the Said Salim Bakhresa Group (SSB), also plans to roll out its pay-TV operations into Burundi, Malawi, Zambia and Sierra Leone in 2015.

Its service in Tanzania was launched in December 2013, and within a year had reportedly sold 150,000 full decoder kits.