And today, StarTimes serves 30 million users in 37 countries. This phenomenal growth has made StarTimes Africa’s most dynamic TV operator.
This has been made possible thanks to StarTimes’ innovation and dedication to providing the best content to its users. Moreover, StarTimes made a priority of giving back to the community by supporting local NGOs, African movie industry and innovators.
WildAid and StarTimes establish a partnership
WildAid, an NGO committed to conserving wildlife, and StarTimes formally established a partnership in Beijing to create awareness on the dangers of poaching and decimating wildlife.
Illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar global industry largely driven by consumer demand around the world. WildAid and StarTimes work together to raise awareness on wildlife conservation across StarTimes’ broadcast network in Africa.
StarTimes Group Vice-President, Luis Lu, explains that: “As a bridge between China and Africa, StarTimes now joins the fight of protecting Africa’s wildlife. Through its Network, StarTimes will help to make sure that every African people know how priceless their wildlife is.”
Pan-African Online Film Festival (PAOFF)
StarTimes launched the first edition of an event called the Pan-African Online Film Festival (PAOFF) aimed at encouraging African local online film creation by giving them a platform to reach online users.
First launched in Nigera, PAOFF is a competition awarding prizes to movies, short films and music videos based on a fan’s voting system.
In Kenya, StarTimes partnered with the Kenya Film Commission. The Commission has identified StarTimes ON as a strategic platform where shortlisted films will be uploaded for viewing and public voting ahead of the 9th edition of Kalasha International Film and TV Awards.
Mr. Timothy Owase - CEO Kenya Film Commission noted that “this will boost the audiovisual industry in the country, empower filmmakers and make filmmaking a rewarding venture. The partnership opens a broader market for our local filmmakers to showcase their talent with the platform also ensuring that our content can traverse our borders thus exerting a great sphere of influence in the region.”
Exclusive TV shows
In 2019, StarTimes did offer high quality original TV shows.
In Kenya, Hello Mr. Right was renewed for a season 2 after becoming a hit when first aired in December 2018. After Nigeria and Zambia, the dating show conquered Kenya and is now being adapted in Cote d’Ivoire.
Kenyan talk show star Vinie Chipukeezy didn’t find love while traveling with Ugandan actor Roger Mugisha in Tanzania. But they lived a real adventure exploring local food, scenery, culture, history and specialties, and experience the charm and mysteries of Tanzania in the show Dream Destination.
“Dream Destination is not a VIP tour. It is about discovering a new culture, facing challenges, protecting wildlife and nature. And it is about two people who didn’t know each other but who had to travel together along this magnificent journey, where they learned about Tanzania as well as about themselves,” explains StarTimes’ head of Media Division, Lily Meng.
And learning how to live together was the ultimate purpose of Ça passe ou ça casse, a new TV show filmed in DRC during which families would come to the studio to talk about their problems and try to find a solution.
Original TV series
In 2018, StarTimes produced its first TV series, Alagbara, in Nigeria.
Lily Meng said at that time that “the Yoruba TV series Alagbara marks a milestone for StarTimes. We are now a TV series producer. We started in Nigeria because Nollywood is the heart of African movie industry but we want to produce series and movies in all Africa. We aim at providing our subscribers with exclusive content telling local stories in their daily language.”
In 2019, StarTimes produced several original TV series, in Nigeria but also in DRC.
From Alagbara season 2 to Memuna and Paper Boat, StarTimes delighted Nigerian subscribers with creative and exciting series.
Congolese viewers also enjoyed La Fille du Serpent and, during Christmas season, three more TV series, Zosuruna, Zanga Mbongo and La Vengeance aux Deux visages.
Lily Meng says that “StarTimes is committed toward supporting the development of local capacities. There is a lot of potential in Africa, a lot of talented people who are only missing an opportunity to show what they can do. We want to give them this opportunity.”
FIBA World Cup 2019
StarTimes broadcast last September the 18th FIBA Basketball World Cup hosted by China. Basketball fans were delighted to be able to follow the competition during which Angola, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Nigeria kept the African flag flying.
UEFA Euro 2020
Early August, StarTimes acquired UEFA National Team Football broadcasting rights between 2019 and 2022. This includes UEFA EURO 2020 which will be played from 12th June to 12th July next year and UEFA Nations League 2020/21.
Bundesliga Football School
StarTimes in collaboration with the German Bundesliga, have rolled out a project dubbed “Bundesliga Football School” and targeted at developing young football talents and coaches in Ghana.
The event’s approach is to join with national soccer associations, soccer leagues and professional clubs to encourage talented young soccer players at the local level.
Experts and licensed coaches from the youth training centres of Bundesliga clubs with assistance from selected Ghanaian coaches ran training sessions of 100 soccer players (boys and girls) between the ages of 13 and 17 during a week. Workshops were also conducted for Ghanaian coaches to learn Bundesliga’s methods of developing young talents.
Former German captain and a 1990 FIFA world cup winner, Lothar Matthäus was also in Accra to encourage the young talents and share his footballing experience.
Head of Marketing at StarTimes Ghana, Mrs. Akofa Banson said that “StarTimes, the brand that introduced affordable pay-tv to Ghanaians 3 years ago is seeking to give back to Ghanaians with this Football school project through our partnership with Bundesliga.”
In 2019, StarTimes achievements were recognized in many countries. It was chosen in three different countries as best pay-TV provider: Kenya (KUZA Awards 2019), Uganda (People’s Choice Quality Awards) and Ghana (Business and Financial Services Excellence Awards).
StarTimes was also acknowledged as an innovative company. StarTimes ON was awarded with the Africa Best Content App prize during the DIAA 2019 Award of Excellence, and the East Africa Youth Development Agency selected StarTimes as Leader and best company in Digital and Innovation. More recently, early December, the 3rd Digital Tech Excellence Awards recognized StarTimes as the Best Digital TV Solutions Provider.