MTG to launch FTA channel in Tanzania

Modern Times Group (MTG) is to launch a national terrestrial free-to-air channel in Tanzania later this year or in early 2014.

The channel, to be called Viasat1, will feature a broad range of family entertainment, including a mix of locally produced and international formats including national news, talk and music shows; African movies and drama series; as well as Hollywood sitcoms and movies.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority has awarded the new channel a digital-terrestrial licence, and MTG is building new offices, playout and studio facilities in Dar-es-Salaam.

Viasat1 will compete with Tanzania’s existing main free-to-air channels – ITV, Star TV, EATV, and public broadcast service TBC1.

This will be MTG’s second move into free-to-air TV in Africa, following the 2008 launch of the Viasat1 channel in Ghana, now the country’s second largest commercial broadcaster, according to the company. In 2010 MTG also created a local production company in Ghana, Modern Africa Productions, which serves sub-Saharan Africa with locally produced content.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO of MTG, said: “We are delighted to launch our second free-TV channel in Africa under the Viasat1 brand. The region is growing rapidly, and we are excited about participating in, and contributing to, the rapid development of a high growth market. Our goal is to build fast growing, profitable and long term sustainable businesses, by offering African viewers strong brands and a wide range of high quality local and international entertainment programmes and formats.”