I am very sad for TopTV

2012-08-22 10:54
I must say from the onset that I am very sad for TopTV. They do not appear to have any direction. Yesterday it was adult movies and tomorrow it is cell phone style pre-paid subscriptions?

At a glance, this sounds like a good idea. However, when you look at the cellular market where pre-paid has flourished, you find free handsets on offer or sold at a very low price. This is an enabler for consumers to access the cellular network, consume data and make calls.

However, when you look at TopTV's offering. You first have to buy a set top decoder, then get a dish installed, and then go the pre-paid route. I do not understand how this will increase subscribers? This will have an impact on current subscriptions. You could have scenario of a person thinking "Why should I pay now"? "I will wait until there's decent content and then pay as I go."

I do not even know what content is on TopTV, because they are not advertising. A simple search on YouTube and you find corporate messages about satellite dish installations. Why are there no samples of the content available? An idea of the look and feel? I am someone who has Internet access, so maybe I am not the target market for Top TV?

When I go shopping and visit the chain stores selling plasma and LCD TV's, why is Top TV not exposing their content, Branding etc? I have no clue what the channel looks like.

Is there any benefit that Top TV is providing South Africa? Or are they just another Conduit for selling international content? Were is the local South African content? By the way, I don't even know what is on the channel, so I cannot comment. This is a question.

What really needs to happen, is that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), needs to rethink the manner in which it issues licenses. Other players had access to "open time" in order to promote their products to non-subscribers. If this is the way they grew into a formidable international TV company, then the same benefit should accrue to new entrants and players in the market.

There should also be a specific focus on local content, and not international content. The local industry needs the space to grow. It needs an environment that promotes local content.

If not, as a country, we will lose our social perspective and end up digesting content that does not speak to our communities and impart our experiences and issues. South Africa will not be able to define it's own identity, but be lead by international artists and media.

I wish TopTV all the best, but it's a difficult market when you are a small fish in a small pond with a big fish.

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