Cape Town – The crime and investigation channel ID: Investigation Discovery on On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media SA's StarSat will be discontinued and is going to be replaced with ID Xtra as part of a new deal signed between StarTimes and Discovery Networks.
Investigation Discovery which has been available on TopTV since it launched in May 2010 – now available on StarSat on channel 223 – will remain available on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform on channel 252, but will be changed to IDX on StarSat.
The ID Xtra channel launched in April last year as a new spin-off Discovery Networks channel to sit alongside the main ID: Investigation Discovery channel.
While ID: Investigation Discovery is skewed towards a largely female viewership who indulge in the murder and crime documentaries, IDX is even more tailored towards women with even more real-life mystery, crime and suspense factual and lifestyle programming.
It's not yet clear when ID: Investigation Discovery on StarSat will flip to ID Xtra, but StarTimes calls the Discovery Networks channel change an "upgrade".
"After receiving very positive feedback in 2015, StarTimes and Discovery Networks agreed the channel should be upgraded to ID Xtra, with a focus on mystery and suspense content," says StarTimes in a statement.
The ID: Investigation Discovery to ID Xtra switch is part of a new agreement signed between StarTimes group president XinXing Pang and James Gibbons, the executive vice president of Discovery Networks in the emerging business region.
According to the new agreement the existing Discovery Science (StarSat 222) channel will remain on the StarSat platform, as will Euro Sport News (StarSat 220).
StarTimes and Discovery Networks are planning to launch another new TV channel – an edutainment channel from the Discovery Learning Alliance – but it is primarily destined for StarTimes' satellite pay-TV platform in the rest of Africa. It's not clear whether this new channel will be added to StarSat in South Africa as well.
StarSat lost the TLC channel at the end of 2014 which it had since May 2010. Competitor MultiChoice currently has the Discovery Networks International channels TLC Entertainment, Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery World.
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