Broadcasting sector subscriptions hit 3.6 million in first quarter

TANZANIA: A NUMBER of television service subscriptions in the country has increased from 3.34 million in June 2023 to 3.63 million in September this year, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)’s quarterly report reveals.

The regulator’s report says 1,789,090 people have subscribed digital for the digital terrestrial television (DTT) system and 1,842,559 are for the satellite television system.

Dar es Salaam leads with the most decoders (1,390,163), followed by Arusha (287,908), Mwanza (282,779), and Mbeya (229,570). The region with the fewest decoders is Songwe (1,818).

Meanwhile, the number of registered television stations with TCRA decreased from 343 in June this year to 309 in September this year, while the number of registered radio stations increased from 228 in June this year to 239 in September this year.

Broadcasting experts suggest that the increase in the number of television subscribers in the country indicates the growth of broadcasting sector in Tanzania.

“This increase is due to various factors, including the growing use of mobile phones and computers for television viewing, and people’s interest in entertaining content on TV, which is now widely available, especially Bongo Flava and local football league,” said Zanzibar-based broadcasting expert, Mr Daudi Mkwela.

Mr Mkwela also stated that the growth of broadcasting sector in Tanzania offers opportunities for television service providers to improve their content to meet customer needs.

Other stakeholders also associate the growth of television broadcasting with improved entertainment and sports content in Tanzania.

“I believe the growth of the television broadcasting sector in the country has been reinforced by the increase in high-quality entertainment content, such as football, boxing, dramas, and Bongo Flava music, which has sparked greater interest in watching television and listening to radio broadcasts.

This growth is a positive sign that our country is moving forward,” commented Priscus Silayo, a public relations officer and mass communicator.

In terms of market share for Terrestrial Broadcasting Infrastructure Providers (DTT), Star Media (StarTimes) has the highest number of utilised decoders, followed by Azam.

“Growth of broadcasting sector in Tanzania is a positive sign for the country’s economy and society. It provides opportunities for businesses and individuals, and helps to keep the public informed and entertained,” remarked Yahya Mohammed, a lecturer of Mass Communication at various colleges and universities in the country.

TCRA was established in 2003 by merging Tanzania Broadcasting Commission (TBC) and the Tanzania Communications Commission (TCC).

The regulatory authority is responsible for regulating communications sector that includes telecom and internet, broadcasting, and postal and courier services.

TCRA publishes sector performance reports on a quarterly basis.

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