In Bartabwa, network coverage is a matter of life and death

Thursday, May 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Residents of Bartabwa in Baringo North sub-county struggle to make calls. Bandits are taking advantage of poor network coverage in the area to terrorise locals. Photo/PD/Wycliff Kipsang

Steve Umidha @SteveUmidha

More children are tuning in on TV sets than ever before, according to the latest survey which attributes the new shift in children’s changing viewing habits to the Covid-19 pandemic that has left millions of them spending more time at home to slow the spread of the virus.

GeoPoll survey found that during the day, there was a growing appetite for educational children’s programming in the country – and further signaling unmet demand for local content producers.

“With widespread school closures and stay-at-home social distancing, there has never been a greater need for quality children’s programming,” said Akili Network’s CEO, Jeff Schon.

He said his firm’s Akili Kids, the only free-to-air children’s television network in the country, is making every effort to be the country’s most trusted brand for children’s and family entertainment.

The survey released Tuesday revealed that 29 per cent of the 14,664,000 adults with children with access to TV and 4,253,000 adults were contacted for comments.

Significant amount

It also found that there was a significant amount of co-viewing of children’s programming with 55 per cent of all viewership on Akili Kids done by both a child or children and either a parent or a caregiver.

Only 35 per cent of viewership was with just the child or children watching by themselves.

Jesse Soleil, co-founder and President of Akili Network said the firm was the first to have a clear focus on daytime programming, and this is simply because that is when children are most active and will most likely be allowed to watch TV by their parents or caregivers.

 Akili Network is the first commercial digital content network distributing educational entertainment to 20 million children aged below 14 years in Kenya through televisions, mobile devices, tablets and computers.

“Through the provision of both imaginative and educational content and strategic focus on access, we intend to reach the nearly 20 million children in Kenya under the age of 14 with programming that features clear learning outcomes,” said Kaburo Kobia, Akili Network’s Head of Production.

Following migration to the digital platform, rapid growth in the TV broadcast industry has been witnessed.

Already there are 65 Free to air TV stations in the country –with the progress of digital migration at 80 per cent now complete according to figures from the Ministry of ICT.

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