Competition in the pay-TV field in the continent is heating up. Smart TV which is owned by Swedish firm Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) launched locally. Smart TV will run on the digital broadcasting platform rolled out by the government sometime last year.

NextGen Broadcasting Kenya CEO Dan Kagwe said yesterday that the SmartTv will push for more local programming and making the service affordable. He acknowledged that pay TV growth in Kenya has stagnated because off the unfair pricing by the sole player.

Multichoice Kenya (DSTV) has continued to dominate the market with it’s unchallenged services. GTV gave Multichoice a run for its money but it gave up when it went under last year. DSTV has been in Kenya since 1995 with KBC holding a substantial stake in Multichoice Kenya. The service seems to have sensed the entry of Smart Tv hence the 5,000 Decoder price promotion with bundle price as low as Ksh 830.

Smart TV subscribers will initially offer 17 to 20 high quality local and international channels with different contents including but not limited to movies, sports, news, children’s programming, and the latest in show business for Sh990 per month with set-top boxes retailing at Sh5,000.

Mr Kagwe say NGB expects to attract upto 100,000 subscribers by June 2011.

“We intend to roll out across the country with the support of the government because there are deadlines to meet across Africa and I believe it’s possible to achieve those dreams when we work together,” he said.

NextGen Broadcasting is currently available in Ghana with an expected launch in Uganda. Kenyan Broadcasters are expected to adopt the Digital TV Transmission by 2015.