Check out these photos! James Franco spotted in bed with a very hot shirtless hunk!

The well-received, well-liked and highly successful Come Dine With Me South Africa has been cancelled

TopTV CEO to be axed over porn plans

2012-02-01 08:26
 
 
Cape Town – TopTV's CEO Vino Govender is out after incensed investors put growing pressure on the beleaguered South African pay TV operator to get rid of him amidst mounting unhappiness with TopTV's content.

Govender is getting the boot as pressures are mounting for On Digital Media (ODM), TopTV's umbrella company, after a failed attempt at launching a much-maligned porn package.

Investors are concerned about the direction of the company as well as the pay TV operator's content, say insiders. According to sources today will be the last day at the office for Govender who will be replaced by Eddie Mbalo, ODM's chairperson.

Govender's exit has been arranged following growing unhappiness from TopTV's board and incensed investors.

Speaking about where TopTV went wrong, Janine Lazarus of Janine Lazarus Media Consultancy, told Channel24: "It will now be very difficult for the public to divorce the brand from the debate on pornography, and – even worse – the fracas surrounding getting the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (Icasa) stamp of approval. What is needed now is some serious rethinking and strategising – that is if it isn’t too late."

Govender took over as ODM's CEO in 2007 when the original founder Mergan Moodley became ill, but he's now on his way out almost two years after TopTV launched in May 2010. TopTV passed the 300 000 subscriber mark towards the end of last year but before TopTV's porn plan became known and organisations started calling for a TopTV boycott.

Mbalo is the former CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). The length of Mbalo's term as acting TopTV CEO is currently not known.

According to sources the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), one of the major investors in TopTV since its launch, apparently asked that Govender be replaced as CEO over TopTV's faltering content offering.

The IDC could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Severe criticism

TopTV has received severe criticism for its vast number of repeat screenings, lack of new channels, losing channels since November which have not yet been replaced, as well as a lack of following through on multiple promises, like starting a sport channel.

ODM employees have not been told about the news as yet. With Govender gone "they'll then be bringing in a consulting company to relook structure, position and skill sets but nothing has been communicated to the staff," one insider with knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.

"Morale is down," said a source on Tuesday. "Staff are hearing rumours and no one is communicating what's going on. There's a lot of uncertainty and people are worried about their jobs."

No public statement


TopTV did not immediately answer media enquiries made about Govender's exit from the pay TV operator and no public announcement or statement about Govender's future has been made by ODM.

Since its commercial launch in May 2010 Govender has backtracked on several occasions regarding the company's plans – the promise not to run pornographic channels, chief among them.

Promises of TopTV's plans to have high definition (HD) channels, a PVR and the addition of several new TV channels within months of launch have not yet come to light, with constantly moving goalposts.

TopTV went through a restructuring exactly a year ago, recently lost the Hi Nolly and One Music channels, and will lose the Current TV channel on March 11.

TopTV also suffered a double debit order disaster last year, and two years after launch subscribers are still complaining about lousy customer service.

*Is TopTV doing the right thing by getting rid of their CEO? E-mail us your thoughts.

- Channel24

Read more on:    odm  |  toptv  |  vino govender  |  tv

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
70 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Recent News

Discovery Channel will be broadcasting a recent exclusive interview with the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, June and Barry Steenkamp. Read More »

Oprah Winfrey’s embittered ex-stepmom Barbara Winfrey is throwing massive shade on the billionaire talk show queen, dishing dirt in return for payment in a scathing tabloid interview. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.