TopTV drops 2 more channels

2013-04-16 12:47
TopTV drops 2 more channels
Cape Town – The struggling TopTV, currently in business rescue and trying to avoid bankruptcy, is dropping two more channels – Top Junior and the timeshifted Top Movies +24 – from midnight on Wednesday, 17 April.

On Digital Media (ODM) which runs the TopTV satellite pay-TV service, says Top Junior and Top Movies +24 is being "discontinued with immediate effect" due to operational reasons. ODM says it "regrets the timing of this change" to its channel make-up.

ODM says it has to prepare for a "proposed new channel structure" which indicate more major channel line-up changes should TopTV be able to continue operating.

TopTV has now dropped several TV channels since it started its commercial operations in May 2010, and has constantly been looking to find replacement channels - and not successfully.

No reduction in subscriber fees

Of the three Turner channels TopTV lost in November, only Fashion One was added as a replacement. Meanwhile, TopTV subscribers are not finding a reduction in their monthly subscriber fees although the overall TV content offering is diminishing.

"As TopTV continues to operate under the business rescue plan, announced in October 2012, it has become necessary to review the pay-TV operator's current channel line-up and make certain adjustments in the interim period," says ODM.

"TopTV is currently in negotiations with a prospective investor and more details regarding this issue will be made public in the coming weeks. These talks are at an advanced stage and should they reach finality, a much-needed cash injection will be made into the operation that could result in a restructure of the business and the channels that are currently on offer."

ODM is awaiting word from South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on whether it will be granted a licence to start a new separate porn bouquet of three sex channels.

ODM is in negotiations with China's StarTimes which is also operating a pay-TV business in Nigeria, to bail out the struggling pay-TV operator with a cash injection, and for StarTimes to become an equity partner in TopTV.

TopTV says it "awaits confirmation of new developments for an exciting new future for the pay-TV operator".
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