By Princewill Ekwujuru

T he multi billion Naira Pay-TV market is experiencing some interesting developments, particularly with the digital era. StarTimes, operating in different African countries is growing rapidly in Nigeria’s landscape, determined to increase its market share and footprint through innovative marketing strategies. Princewill Ekwujuru takes a critical look at its marketing strategies vis-a-vis the deal to broadcast Copa America live to subscribers.

StarTimes, a pay-tv network says it has invested N20 billion in the Nigerian market in other contents including movies and documentaries. The company among other things said it has a mission in Nigeria to become an influential international media group. It stated that since its establishment in 1988 in China, and subsequent extension to other countries, it has kept its eyes on the ball, following its vision.

However, the pay-tv network has maintained a steady growth on account of combined consumer insight market strategies. In addition to low fee for subscribers, the pay-tv platform which also operates in  13 African markets is progressively acquiring contents that would put it in the forefront of its Nigerian consumers. One of such contents is football and this is basically on the understanding of love of the round leather game in Nigeria.

Football, as a binding factor, has dominated other sports in Nigeria and the love of football has over the years grown tremendously in Nigeria and other African countries. Today, European Premier League, Laliga and Bundesliga, and to a lesser extent, the Nigerian Premier League, have dominated viewership of TV among Nigerians. Various names of foreign players are easily mentioned in Nigerian circles and sometimes streets and roads experience less traffic when there are popular matches in Europe. It is also not different when Nigeria is playing major international matches. Football is to men what movies are to women.

Based on this understanding, the digital television platform  which has in the past secured broadcast right of some major sporting events and international football competitions would from early next month beam to Nigerians, the Copa America competition which starts on June 3 through 26. This follows the acquisition of another exclusive broadcast right for the game across Africa. The Pay-TV firm announced in Lagos that it has signed a fresh deal to beam the Copa America Special Centenario edition live all over Africa.

The landmark edition which commemorates 100 years existence of Copa America and slated for  US will definitely glue viewers to their seats and have them thrilled as most of the superstars playing in European clubs will be in live action at the championship with 32 countries competing in games across ten cities.

The company said aside enjoying superstars like Lionel Messi, Luiz Suarez, Sergi Aguero, Sanchez and many other notable players  in action, StarTimes viewers stand the chance to predict and win prizes like cash, LED Digital Television with inbuilt decoders, Projector Television sets, recharge cards and other prizes.

“There will be various programs on radio, television, online, on StarTimes App and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter through which Nigerians can participate and win. “The Copa America 2016 will be enjoyed exclusively on StarTimes Sports channels, including ST World Football (Channel 254) and ST Sports Focus (Channel 250), all on StarTimes digital terrestrial and digital satellite platforms”.

Confirming this, Marketing Director, StarTimes Nigeria, Oludare Kafar, told Vanguard that “StarTimes is excited to bring Copa America Special Centenario edition to subscribers and believes the various matches will provide sports loving viewers some high quality entertainment. This is a historic moment for the championship and will contribute greatly to the development and followership of professional football within the African continent.

We are excited to feed the appetite of football lovers all across Africa and are particularly glad that our viewers can enjoy all the games in its HD glamour and be a part by participating in our prediction games and winning fantastic prizes on StarTimes App and social media platforms,” he stated.

The participatory viewing  means the broadcast of the football competition would be interactive because, as according  to Kafar, StarTimes would be providing live studio where the audience can participate to win exotic prices. He said there will be prizes every match day and cash prices. Every match day N300, 000 would be given out for 23 days including recharge cards and StarTimes TV.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.