Azuri partners with StarTimes to expand TV reach to off-grid customers

(L-R) Simon Bransfield, CEO Azuri Technologies, David Jakaiti, Secretary Adimintration Min. of ICT, EGN. Benson Mwakina, Ministry of Energy & Petroleum and David Zhang, CEO StarTimes.

Azuri Technologies, the first company to launch a complete pay-as-you-go solar TV package in Kenya, has announced a partnership with StarTimes to bring wider choice of content to its off-grid customers.

The partnership will see customers acquire a solar powered 24” TV with the Free-to-Air channels and up to 40 StarTimes channels delivered via a TV aerial or satellite dish, all available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

StarTimes Media is the leading pay television provider with access to over 100 local and international channels of diverse genres including sports, documentaries, kids, music, news among others.

Azuri customers will place a deposit of KSH 4,999 and a daily fee of KSH 99 for over 130 weeks, enabling them to watch TV for up to 6 hours per day on the StarTimes Basic bouquet inclusive of Sports Arena, Sports Premium, Sports Life and World Football channels. The system also provides lighting from 4 powerful LED lights, a phone charging point, rechargeable torch and radio.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, the Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication in the Ministry of ICT Mr. Sammy Itemere noted the significant role the private sector continues to play in facilitating access to information through television especially with the Country having migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting platform.

“As a Government, we continue to encourage efforts that will progressively transform the lives of Kenyans. As we work tirelessly to connect the majority of Kenyans to the national grid, such partnerships between Azuri and StarTimes will go a long way towards ensuring the public has access to information especially now that we have fully migrated to the digital broadcasting platform,” noted Mr. Itemere.

Azuri CEO Mr. Simon Bransfield-Garth noted the increased benefits of providing households with access to broadcast content as this is now not only an entertainment medium but also a strong education platform.

“We are hugely excited about the partnership with StarTimes and the opportunity to expand the range of content available to our TV customers. TV is rapidly emerging as the must-have service after lighting, bringing not just entertainment but also many powerful social and educational benefits to the household,” noted Mr. Bransfield-Garth.

On his part, StarTimes CEO Mr. David Zhang said, “Until now, we could only reach on-grid consumers. By partnering with providers of PayGo solar, StarTimes content is now available country-wide, giving customers in Kenya more choice in the content they are able to enjoy.” Azuri research has shown that TV has a major beneficial impact on households – in fact according to recent market reseach done by Azuri, some customers value TV more than even basics such as electric light. On average, AzuriTV customers watch for up to 5 hours per day and have reported many educational and social benefits of having access to modern media at home.

In the survey, 98% AzuriTV customers said they feel more aware of local and international affairs and that children feel more confident in discussing current topics in school. TV also improves language capacity with some 92% of the respondents saying watching television programs in their preferred language has improved their communications skills and 60% of customers with school age children seeing their children improve their reading, writing and speaking skills since purchasing the AzuriTV system.

AzuriTV was this month honoured with an Edison Award for social innovations creating social impact as the company aims to deliver on its mission to bring life-changing technology to every home.

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