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TopTV loses 2 channels

2011-12-01 09:23
Cape Town – Pay TV operator TopTV has discontinued two of its channels without providing notice or an adequate explanation to subscribers.

Hi Nolly (TopTV 120) and One Music (TopTV 506) have both abruptly disappeared – with TopTV only displaying an on-screen message on both channels saying "this channel has been suspended".

One Music delivered "the best of African and international hits" while Hi Nolly showed Nigerian and African movies and entertainment shows.

Neither Hi Nolly or One Music will likely be back on air soon.

Satellite service under liquidation

Both channels originate from Lagos in Nigeria, run by Entertainment Highway's satellite TV service, HiTV, which had to abruptly cease operations.

HiTV's offices were stormed, locked and sealed by Nigerian police and staff were told they have five minutes to clear the building.

HiTV allegedly owes billions in unpaid debt.

Guaranty Trust Bank in Nigeria is demanding payment from HiTV on a loan fascility and the pay TV operator has been placed in receivership. HiTV staff are locked out and all HiTV servers – responsible for the play-out of channels such as Hi Nolly and One Music – are shut down.

TopTV needs a more definite solution

TopTV responded to media enquiries on Wednesday morning regarding the missing channels saying: "We have been informed that the channel operator Hi Media was placed under liquidation order".

TopTV said this resulted in a "discontinuance of Hi Media's broadcasting operations and as a result TopTV's service with regard to these two channels will be temporarily discontinued.

"We have also been told that Hi Media is challenging the liquidation order and the case will be heard in Lagos on Friday. If the court rules in Hi Media's favour there could be a resumption in the broadcasting services."

TopTV said "such events are uncertainties and TopTV needs to develop a more definite solution to this situation.

"Consequently we are seeking replacement channels – however this is a process that will take at least 60 days due to the regulatory process that needs to be followed."

With South Africa's Consumer Protection Act in full force, TopTV subscribers would be able to demand a refund under the act because the service promised is not being delivered.

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