Showmax subscribers are now able to access 5 mainstream Kenyan television channels from the comfort of their televisions and mobile devices.
KBC Channel 1, the state broadcaster, as well as KTN Home and KTN News, NTV and K24 are available live on Showmax 24 hours a day.
The channels, which are free-to-air and accessible to everyone in the country with a digital-ready TV or set-top box (like the Safaricom Giga box) and other necessary equipment like antennae, are also accessible online for free through YouTube.
A glaring omission from the list is Royal Media Services’ Citizen TV, which is widely popular across the country, accounting for nearly half of all the viewership of local free-to-air TV channels according to the industry regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). While we don’t know why it is not included, the company already backs another streaming video-on-demand service, Viusasa, which it has been on the forefront of popularizing over the last 3 years.
Back in March, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Showmax added live international news channels to its offering to subscribers citing the need to provide critical information at a time when a number of people were spending more time at home. The live news channels were removed 3 months later.
Showmax has since debuted Showmax Pro, a subscription tier that brings with it live channels covering music, sports and news. The addition of sports channels, for instance, brings popular sporting events and tournaments like the English Premier League and others within easy reach of many Kenyans who get their entertainment online for the first time, having had to make do with illegal streams for years since the alternative, DStv Now, is tied to existing DStv subscriptions.
The 5 local channels are available live to both Showmax and Showmax Pro subscribers, including those on mobile plans. They can be accessed on the web, via Showmax’s mobile apps on Android and other platforms as well as on compatible Samsung and LG smart televisions.