Zee, Star channels enter Africa expansion mode
Johannesburg: Amid the growing popularity of Bollywood across Africa, Indian satellite channels Zee World and Star Life are expanding their footprint on the continent.
Popular Hindi serials and Bollywood movies carefully dubbed into English and French in a way that hardly gives away the fact that the actors are speaking Hindi are proving to be huge hits with African viewers. Zee has launched a number of services in English and French on the African continent in the past two years, catering for the English-speaking West and Southern African countries, and the Francophone countries in the Central and North African region of the continent.
Now Zee is targeting growth in its East African offering as well by including programming in the dominant language there, Swahili.
The Swahili audio track was added due to viewer demand and is available on Zee World in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Zee Africa said that the popular series 'Twist of Fate', which launched in Swahili two months ago, is proving to be one of its most watched programmes.
"The Swahili soundtrack reconfirms our commitment to our African viewers, who asked for this and we acceded to their request," said Harish Goyal, CEO, Africa & Asia Pacific at Zee Entertainment.
"It will no doubt further strengthen our efforts to connect the continent to Bollywood content," Goyal added.
Star Network's Star Life, a brand-new HD lifestyle channel created exclusively for African audiences, has seen large numbers tuning in for its first month of broadcast, with some of Salman Khan's most well-known movies, dubbed into English, proving to be among the most popular.