GTV, the subsidiary of Gateway Telecommunications, is sharpening its punches by extending its broadcast in a number of African countries by opening some agencies in a calculated move aimed at broadening its footprint.
Rihys Torrington, commercial director for GTv told The Sunday Standard in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that his company is on the verge of opening in six countries and the plan is to extend to 35 countries, in the near future.
The six countries where they are about to enter include Burundi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
The pay television network, which out-beat DSTv over the English premiership football and FA cup rights to be broadcast in Africa, said its intention is to bring affordable television to the populace of Africa.
“We have 80 percent rights, which is 10 matches per week, to broadcast the English premiership league matches and we will have that for the next three years,” he said, adding that “we need to move quite rapidly (into some other African countries where we do not exist) because all what people can get is the 20 percent which is offered by DSTV.”
He said that, as part of the strategy to overcome the non foreign investor legislations, they are now forming agencies in those countries since it would not make sense to register a company.
Further, the six month old pay television said it is working on plans to increase its channels which would give customers more choice in a network, priced with a view of making it affordable.
Some of the channels which are aimed at bolstering the network include Lima Africa, G Sport Extra and G Africa.
G Sport Extra is aimed at bolstering the capacity of G Sport 1 and 2 by loading a third game if all are playing at the same time. The much talked about G Africa is about to be rolled-out and is expected to feature a combination of African programmes, including soaps from South Africa and Nigeria, among others, and children’s entertainment and documentaries.
“If you want to watch your team live you should be able to do so through G Sport Extra,” he said.
As part of the bigger plan to entrench GTV into the African market the company is signing broadcasting rights with a number of football associations across the swath of the black continent. So far, they have managed to win a contract with Ghana Football Association and Tanzania Premier League and it is currently locked in discussions with Botswana Football Association, among others.
“The intention is to make African soccer a theatre and we are working with the local football association to achieve that,” Torrington said.
He said there is a great lot of potential for a pay television in Africa as there are 43 million television sets across the continent but only less than one percent of the population does have access to pay television.
“All what we need to do is to introduce some niche channels and make television affordable in Africa,” he said , adding that so far they have managed to sell over 70,000 decoders within a period of six months.