The digital migration process whose first phase was effected on January 31, will ease business processes for information and communication technology investors, especially putting up TV stations as well as boosting content developers.
Though the move has been seen as an inconvenience to most TV viewers as they had to purchase decoders or set top boxes, it is laden with opportunities and several benefits not only for enterprising investors.
Arthur Asiimwe, the Rwanda Broadcasting Authority boss, said that the digital platform would ease processes of putting up TV channels as well as save on cost that would have otherwise been spent on infrastructure development.
“It will now be easier than it was for anyone one willing to set up a TV station as they will not need to build transmission sites around the country, but only studios and developing content.
“This will greatly reduce the costs incurred in establishing stations,” he said.
He added that the digital platform widened the base of possible TV station owners as it would be possible to host more TV channels that they could not on the analogue platform.
Already eight broadcasters such as Contact TV, Lemigo TV, Light House TV, Super TV, Rwanda Holdings, Capital TV and Max TV have already been licensed by the regulatory authority Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority (Rura).
The anologue to digital broadcasting switch has so far affected Kigali, Muhanga, Rulindo, Kamonyi, Kayonza, Bugersera and Rwamagana districts.
Contact Media boss, Albert Rudatsimburwa, said since TV station proprietors will not have to foot infrastructure costs, they are likely to step up on the quality of their content.
“The presence of multiple TV stations in the market will breed positive competition that will create opportunities for content producers.
“They will stand greater chances of having their content aired, which will see more of them active in production.”
He was delivering a presentation dubbed ‘Tele: Vision 2020’, which was discussing the future of television at the German Cultural Centre, Goethe Institut in Kigali.
Stephen Isaboke, the MultiChoice Africa regional director for Eastern Africa, urged local content producers to tap into the opportunity presented by the pay TV service providers and develop more local content in the packages.
“We are looking to work with local content producers and creatives to have more local content in our packages for them to have a local appeal. We could build partnerships to assist in production of quality content,” Isaboke pointed out.