Cape Town – MultiChoice and M-Net will soon launch its GOtv service as its digital TV product and service in South Africa’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) market.
GOtv, MultiChoice’s cheaper DTT service already available in several other African countries outside of South Africa, will cost R100 for a monthly subscription according to its South African website, with a GOtv decoder that will cost R700.
South African GOtv subscribers won’t need a satellite dish but will also have to buy an antenna for R300. GOtv will come with around 12 TV channels at launch that’s already available on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV platform.
It’s not clear what MultiChoice and M-Net are planning to do with its M-Net analogue subscribers – tens of thousands of South Africans who don’t have DStv but who use M-Net decoders and who have been waiting patiently for the DTT switch-over to get new decoders.
Part of the big problem is that GOtv as a cheaper digital TV service in the rest of Africa doesn’t include the M-Net channel. Yet M-Net analogue subscribers living in South Africa must get a “like-for-like” service – a DTT service that includes M-Net as a channel.
Yolisa Phahle, M-Net CEO, confirmed to Channel24 last week that the digital terrestrial television offering will launch under the GOtv brand in South Africa. MultiChoice will run the platform and product and M-Net will supply TV channels.
Phahle didn’t want to answer when asked whether there would be overlap between the GOtv channel offering available in South Africa and MultiChoice’s existing DStv channels, but the website now indicates that M-Net’s lower-tiered channels like M-Net Movies Zone, AfricaMagic Epic, Mzansi Wethu, Mzansi Bioskop, Mzansi Magic Music and Channel O will be included.
Other channels include Discovery Networks International’s TLC Entertainment, SuperSport’s SuperSport Blitz and SuperSport Select channels, Viacom’s NickToons, Disney Junior and Dumisa.
e.tv will launch its own DTT offering which will include its own set of channels which will likely include several of the channels currently carried on its own OpenView HD (VHD) free-to-air satellite platform from Platco Digital.
The SABC’s free-to-air DTT offering include only 5 channels: SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 as well as the SABC News (DStv 404) and SABC Encore (DStv 156) library rerun channels available on DStv.
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