Azam TV Uganda is the latest digital satellite Pay TV service provider to enter the Ugandan market. Azam TV is sure to tap into 38 million people market and isn’t at all intimidated by early entrants such as DSTV or Zuku TV. Azam and Zuku have one thing in common; they are both digital satellite providers with an East African footprint.
As we race towards June 15, the global analogue to digital TV migration deadline, who among these two providers will win the race?
Packages and price
Azam TV is offering a single package that comes with over 50 channels at only UXG 25,000 per month. So viewers don’t have much options really.
Compare that to Zuku’s offering that has 3 packages to choose from; Zuku Poa with 36+ channels, Zuku Classic with 49+ and Zuku Premium with the highest number of channels of 70+. Zuku’s lowest tier package Zuku Poa goes for only UGX 20,000 , Classic at UGX 30,000 while its premium bouquet is priced at UGX 50,000 per month.
Azam TV certainly has much cheaper packages, but we don’t like the one-size-fits-all approach. Zuku TV on the other hand gives users options to choose from depending on their interests and the size of their pockets.
Winner is: Zuku TV
Azam TV has about 50 channels in its single package. It has local free-to-air channels like NTV, Urban TV, WBS, KTV, Citizen from the East African region. Viewers can also enjoy global TV news channels such as BBC News, Al Jazeera English, while documentary lovers have the options of Nat Geo Gold, Discovery science. Azam TV has about 17 channels in the Entertainment genre, 4 in music, 2 in kids, 4 in sports and 3 under lifestyle.
Unlike Azam, Zuku TV channel list depends on which package you subscribe to as listed above. Now if we look at Zuku Classic with 49+ which is comparable to Azam’s 50 channel package, Zuku doesn’t seem to have much options. BBC world news, Al Jazeera global news channels, entertainment lovers have Vox Africa, Fashion One, Inspiration TV and Zuku sports for sports section.
Azam TV seems to offer viewers more channel options for much less (UGX 25,000) if we are to compare it with Zuku Classic that comes with almost the same number of channels but with less variety and costs a little higher (UGX 30,000).
Winner: Azam TV
Equipment and installation cost
Both providers are satellite Pay TV providers. So they both offer a satellite decoder and a satellite dish that needs to be installed outside of your house. Azam TV charges Ugx 250,000 decoder its dish and decoder(although this price came down to UGX 145,000 for the Christmas promo) and an additional UGX 40,000 for installation of the dish.
Zuku TV charges only Ugx 165,000 for satellite dish and decoder. However, this figure also surprisingly includes installation costs. Clearly Zuku TV is much cheaper when it comes to the initial equipment and installation costs.
Winner: Zuku TV
Signal quality and coverage
Both Azam and Zuku TV are satellite providers which means their signal is a lot better except for occasional instances where poor weather conditions inevitably affect the signal quality. Also both being satellite providers, their coverage can be reasonably assumed to be nation-wide.
Customer care is an essential ingredient in selecting the right service provider for you. Poor customer care service is tantamount to loss of customers.
Zuku has a customer care hotline, 0312224800, customer care email line firstname.lastname@example.org , website specific to Uganda at zukutv.co.ug and functional social media presence on Twitter and Facebook at /zukuOfficial. We found them prompt when contacted on social media. However, being regional players with presence in more than one country, we found their website still poorly optimized for Uganda.
Azam TV too has a customer care line 0417709900/0414581441, a website found at www.azamtv.com (currently under maintenace) and social media channel on Facebook at /azamtvuga but no active Twitter handle. But just like Zuku TV, Azam TV’s website at the time it was operational lacked information specific to Uganda which makes navigation a nightmare.
Now Azam TV might have an excuse of still setting up shop in the country compared to Zuku which has been around for about 3 years now. But still customers don’t really care.
Winner: Zuku TV
The Pay TV market in Uganda is highly competitive as you can tell from what we have seen above. ZukuTV has super cheap dish and decoder installation costs and offers several options for users from its 3 packages. Azam TV on the other hand has variable channel collection of more than 50 at a competitive price but sacrifices choice and cost of satellite decoder. Both providers have gone satellite, meaning that coverage and signal quality are trivia but customer care isn’t. With good customer care channels, Zuku TV certainly comes off winner of this battle. However, as with other comparisons we’ve done on this blog, don’t take our word for it. The ultimate choice is really up to you.