Chinese digital TV provider StarTimes began officially broadcasting Chinese Super League soccer matches across sub-Saharan Africa in early July.
Michael Dearham, vice-president of the company, said under the contract inked with the super league’s strategic partner IMG in late June, the company will air matches on its own TV channels in Africa.
The move is likely to be very popular in Africa, as a number of top African stars, including Senegalese striker Demba Ba and Nigeria’s Obafemi Martins, both play for Shanghai Shenhua. “The TV programs will become the largest project in the company’s history and are expected to boost African countries’ friendship with China,” he said.
The Beijing-headquartered company also signed contracts with Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia to air digital TV programs in the countries late June.
Currently broadcasting to more than 30 African countries and with more than 8 million subscribers on the continent, StarTimes has become the fastest growing and most influential digital TV operator in Africa.
Sponsored by StarTimes, a high-profile forum on digital TV development was held in late June at the company’s headquarters in Beijing’s ETown, attracting officials from 35 African countries, three Asian countries and one Latin American country.
Dearham noted that the company’s latest moves are in line with its commitment to bring affordable digital television to a wider African audience.
Pang Xinxing, the company’s president, said it will continue to provide more Chinese television programs to African viewers.