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Zuku adds 11 channels to platform

Wananchi Group-owned East African pay TV platform Zuku has added 11 new channels to its offering after striking a series of carriage deals.

The new channels include short movies service Shorts TV, the first time the channel has been available in Africa, and Hindi movie channel UTV Movies, which airs Bollywood blockbusters from UTV’s own library as well as other movie studios. Zuku is also adding own-branded channels Zuku Swahili Movies, which will air a wide range of East African movies subtitled in English to be accessible to non-Swahili speakers, and Zuku Movies Max HD, a new HD version of the existing Zuku Movies Max channel. Zuku is also launching a one-hour time-shifted version of Zuku Movies Max.

Other new channels on the plaform include Indian food channel Zee Khana Kazana from Zee TV and African music channel 1Music. The latter was already available on Zuku’s cable platform but has now been added to its satellite bouquet for the first time.

Zuku has also added two new sports channels: Setanta Action, which focuses primarily on combat and action sports, and its own Zuku Sport HD, an HD version of the Zuku Sports channel that includes programming from UK club TV services Arsenal TV and MUTV,, as well as live motorsports and coverage of athletics, basketball, boxing and mixed martial arts.

Zuku is also adding news channels CCTV News from China Central Television and DW News from German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

From CCTV, Zuku will also carry documentary channel CCTV9 and general internet channel CCTV4. The latter is in Mandarin, with some programming subtitled in English.

Zuku has taken additional capcaity on the SES 5 satellite to accommodate the expansion of its platform.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the new portfolio of channels we are able to offer Zuku’s audiences. The spectrum of content acquired through these new carriage deals further reinforces our mandate to provide the market with excellent range, relevance and value for their money,” said Hannelie Bekker, managing director of Wananchi Programming.