Dr Dish gets new investors

HARARE - A Zimbabwean investment group Ktulu Nominees (Private) Limited (Ktulu) has taken up a 50 percent share in Dr Dish (Private) Limited (Dr Dish) following its recent break-up with Kwese TV.

The development also comes as the digital satellite company’s new partners have unveiled plans to acquire more strategic assets – with synergistic potential – in the local and regional markets, and Gerald Mlotshwa’s ambitious broadcasting firm is targeting a 100 million subscribers across Africa within the next five to seven years.

"This transaction brings in the much-needed capital for Dr Dish to launch our exciting products and services… in Zimbabwe, and sub-Saharan Africa, within the next few days after the necessary notifications (in line with the) Broadcasting Services Act,” chief executive Nyasha Muzavazi said, adding they were “hopeful of reaching about four million viewers locally through niche programmes such as tele-learning, health and farming” as well in the near future.

“Having acquired a full transponder on Yemal 402 satellite, which shares the same dish with Intelsat 20 and additional capacity on SES 5 – that is compatible with Eutelsat 7B satellites – we are ready to unveil our multi-content platform for both subscription and non-subscription services for customers who are already on these decoders,” he said.

Under the agreement with Ktulu, Mlotshwa will chair Dr Dish’s board – to represent his family investment vehicle – while Muzavazi becomes the company’s CE.

For a company that has been aggressively pursuing infrastructural sharing and interoperability of broadcasting apparatus, the digital satellite firm believes viewers can access up to 40 entertainment channels for free, a 110 more on paid-up content and proper competition as well as disruptive innovation was going to drive monthly subscriptions to as low as $10 even for premium bouquets.

As such, BOSTV brand holder has not only embarked on a massive campaign to sign up subscribers through agreements with such organisations as the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe, which must deliver 1,2 million viewers by 2023, but it is also in advanced talks with a local telecommunications firm to rollout its products "everywhere" via a mobile application.

Having done a free-to-air trial run between September 2013 and February 2014, Dr Dish is also hoping to capture at least 20 percent of Zimbabwe’s four million households through such popular programmes as the South African Broadcasting Services (SABC)’s Generations, Isidingo, 7 De Laan and Muvhango.

“Remember, BOSTV has rights to SABC content such as these regular soapies, kids’ content, nature and wildlife series, which we believe remain popular and were followed by over three million households in Zimbabwe alone before they were stumped… after that ETV Botswana High Court case,” Muzavazi said.

“And based on the expected, and continued urbanisation of society, we are not only confident of the growth in numbers, but Dr Dish can easily ride on the 34670290 existing arrangements to re-launch that popular service. As it is, we are in the process of recruiting dealers and installers for our countrywide rollout programme, and also  finalising a partnership with the department of education," he said, adding they were keen “leveraging the country’s high literacy rate and educational record to replicate their live, and pre-recorded tele-learning projects across the continent”.

With South Africa (SA)'s MultiChoice dominating the local market via its 200 000 household clients, the digital satellite company believes the cake is big enough for everyone and where competition will essentially be between four players, namely: the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, DsTV, the yet-to-be licensed Kwese TV and Mlotshwa’s broadcasting outfit itself.

Apart from its educational products, the newly recapitalised entity is also banking on its corporate-promotion services – a small, but potentially profitable and greatest in revenue generation, and sales – and extra growth opportunities across the continent and where the dominant MultiChoice is servicing just under 10 million subscribers outside SA.

This leaves nearly 99 percent of Africa’s one billion population shut out of screens and, hence, Dr Dish is targeting over 100 million people within the next half decade.

Comments (1)

Without a full repertoire of soccer games from EPL, LaLiga or Bundesliga, it is unlikely that Dr Dish will captivate the African market, given the looming Fifa 2018.

Rejoice Ngwenya - 24 January 2018

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