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Broadcaster to help develop local productions in Kenya

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2021-05-21 18:33
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Local productions in Kenya are set to gain after StarTimes Media said on Thursday that it will be playing a significant role in the development of local content in Kenya as it plans a progressive rollout of exclusive productions.

These productions will feature on Star Times' online platform StarTimes ON, and on Rembo TV, their local content channel.

The revelation was made during this year's ICT Week, an annual event organized by the Communication Authority of Kenya as a stakeholder engagement with a focus on consumer issues. StarTimes Media, a Chinese-based pay television company, is a leading digital TV operator in Africa, serving 13 million Digital Video Broadcasting subscribers and 27 million Over The Top users in over 30 countries across the continent.

Speaking during the event, which was held virtually, Myke Mugo, StarTimes Kenya content director, said the company is increasingly involved in the ongoing conversation on Kenyan content which has been making waves in new digital spaces. He also said that there is a need to effectively monetize the content on new platforms including Over The Top technology in the country and beyond.

"We have learnt that customers do not want change, they want adjustment. The art of storytelling is what the audience wants. One of the barriers to entry into broadcasting has been language. The ability to choose a language that resonates well with the audience is what we want to tap into," Mugo said.

While welcoming the promotion of local content, Peter Ikumilu, the acting assistant director at the ‎Communications Authority of Kenya, said that local content production has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During the pandemic, we worked with broadcasters to disseminate Public Service Announcements and local talk shows on COVID-19 to drive the message home. We also partnered with other governments and other agencies on promotion of local content, especially children content during the COVID-19 lockdown period," Ikumilu said.

The ICT Week is commemorated in Kenya as part of activities to celebrate World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, which is marked annually on May 17 to commemorate the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

Like last year, the celebrations themed "Accelerating Digital Transformation in Challenging Times" took place in a virtual format in compliance with the continued containment measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country and featured various forums including ways to harness the potential of new frontiers, the future of ICT, broadcasting, postal and courier sectors in Kenya.

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