NTA Star TV Network (StarTimes) has said it has invested N20 billion so far in Nigeria since it commenced operations three years ago in the country.
StarTimes Director Mr. Maxwell Loko disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while addressing journalists ahead of the company’s third anniversary coming up in August.
He disclosed that the investment which was just N15 billion in January has since increased with N5 billion within the last six months.
He admitted that the venture was quite capital intensive and asserted that profit cannot be made in the short run since they were still expanding to the different states.
“At the moment, we are still on the learning curve and therefore investing more than we are earning. We are currently in 16 major cites, but before the end of this year, Startimes will be in all the state capitals of the 36 states and other cities,” Mr Loko said.
He added that to reward their subscribers, StarTimes will be given out N14 million in cash and product to new and existing subscribers.
Startimes subscribers in Nigeria he said have hit a record 1.3 million even as he said it is the only pay TV that has crossed 1m subscribers in Nigeria.
He identified poor electricity as one of its biggest challenges, insecurity as well as limited spectrum allocations while stressing that it was undeterred to provide digital broadcasting to Nigerians.
The Technology Director StarTimes Mr. Joseph Turner, speaking on the 2015 digital migration opined that Nigerian presently does not have a good broadband that is why the cashless system may not work. He disclosed that come 2015 all analogue televisions will go blank. He however revealed that Startimes is there to make sure the effect will not be disastrous.
The international Union of Telecommunication has set 2015 as the deadline for Nigeria to migrate from analogue television to digital broadcasting which is expected to free up more spectrum space for broadcasting. With poor broadband services in Africa countries, it is expected that the migration will provide platform for paid television with modern technology and phase out analogue broadcasting which consume more spectrum space.