TopTV loses two more channels

2013-07-01 12:27
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – TopTV, the struggling South African satellite pay-TV service, lost two more TV channels with Fox Retro going dark without any prior warning or explanation and Top Explore getting dumped in favour of another factual entertainment channel called Spark.

After Discovery Networks International CEEMEA got yanked without any explanation – only to later restore all its channels to the beleaguered TopTV’s bouquet – Fox International Channels Africa (FIC Africa) in May assured Channel24 that it had “no plans to remove channels” from TopTV.   
It now seem that Fox Retro, the classic TV channel, has gone missing on channel 181 on TopTV without any warning or explanation from TopTV or FIC Africa to pay-TV subscribers.

It was not a TopTV decision

After the sudden and unexpected departure of Fox Retro, TopTV responded to a media enquiry as to what happened, saying that "this was a decision by Fox to terminate the channel over the whole of Africa. It was not a TopTV decision. Discussions are far advanced with regard to a replacement channel and we will advise as soon as the details are known".
MultiChoice’s DStv will be adding the new Fox Crime channel from FIC Africa to DStv from 9 July; insiders are speculating that FIC Africa was or is planning to replace Fox Retro with Fox Crime on TopTV but that has not been confirmed.
In April TopTV ended its self-compiled and own branded Top Junior and Top Movies+24 channels, calling it an “unavoidable exercise”. Neither of those channels has so far been replaced.

The end of Top Explore
TopTV on Friday announced it’s also ending Top Explore immediately signalling the end to a third “Top” branded channel. Top Explore is being replaced by Spark from today – a replacement factual entertainment channel.
“Spark is the new brand for our existing documentary channel Top Explore,” said Ian Woodrow, the vice president for channels at TopTV in a statement issued Friday.
“Subscribers will still see many of the programmes which they have enjoyed on Top Explore in the past but will also be impressed with the new programming that has been secured for the channel.”
TopTV is currently in business rescue with the Woodmead based pay-TV operator which got a licence earlier this year to start a separate porn bouquet of three pornographic channels – Desire TV, Private Spice and PlayboyTV – supplied by Playboy UK/Benelux Limited.
On Digital Media (ODM) which runs the TopTV platform has not yet given any indication of whether it will go ahead with its porn plans to launch it commercially. Asked last week about latest developments regarding the operator and the bail-out proceedings with China’s StarTimes taking a stake in the company, TopTV declined comment.


  • Obadia Kgopolo Segwape - 2013-07-01 12:44

    come on toptv add 2 more porn channels

      James Blacksmith - 2013-07-01 16:28

      Turning to porn never works out in the long run.

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-07-01 17:44

      It was bound to limp from one disaster to the next - to quote the late High Court Judge Msimang.

  • Zaakir Hoosen - 2013-07-01 12:49

    Hahaha Shame for the people who took out this tele package in the first place but you should have known better. Not as if dsTV is better in terms of programming but at the end of the day when it comes to sports broadcasting it's unmatched.

      Mattewis Kat - 2013-07-02 10:36

      How should we have known better? When they started, we were expecting them to grow, and the MC-monopoly DESPERATELY needed competition (& still does). Do you honestly think R700 p/m is value for money? TopTV made a good start with over 400k subscribers, but due to their own mismanagement started losing the plot very soon. They were supposed to start upgrading to HD-broadcast & introducing PVR functionality, but instead started losing subscribers, and soon thereafter channels! Their Chinese partner also seems to be stuck in the mud, as they've failed to take quick action when they took over, and which was probably needed months prior to their takeover! I'm sure they're thinking that their porn license is going to save them, but I have news for them. That genre quickly bores its over-enthusiastic animal-instinct driven support base. I think it's over for them, as the Top Explore channel replacement is already starting to draw comments on the HelloPeter complaints website. I'm already back on DSTV with the new Extra package, which is way better value than TopTV premium.

  • zuko.mqolo - 2013-07-01 13:01

    Arg shame poor top tv now that uve got the porn broadcasting ryts how bwt try to get more sports channels barclays premier league/international n local cricket n rugby I'm sure ull get more viewers

  • Chrono Man - 2013-07-01 13:07

    Hope the rot spreads even further.

  • Ian D. Samson - 2013-07-01 13:18

    And what did SPARK start with? Some documentary on Indian tradition. How illuminating!

  • Garth Labuschagne - 2013-07-01 13:27

    Just shut them down

  • Brian Heunis - 2013-07-01 13:31

    How many subscribers do these clowns actually have????

      Mpho Leopeng - 2013-07-01 14:11

      I think 10 and they all work there.

      Connie Heuer - 2013-07-01 14:59

      Only porn fans probably.

  • Selwyn Lloyd - 2013-07-01 13:45

    You dug your own grave!!!

  • Selwyn Lloyd - 2013-07-01 13:47

    Obviously programmes are being pulled if the account cannot be paid!

  • Roger Fraser - 2013-07-01 14:36

    You cant run a TV channel without sports content and DSTV has sewn up the market for sports broadcasting so tight that they will find it very difficult to compete (Even SABC with the Goverment/Tax payers purse cant pay the amounts DSTV can) but not impossible .SA companies are too quick to believe they have to copy each other to compete.I bet they would get allot of subscribers if they started coverage of some of the smaller sporting /school sporting and similar events as well as do local news coverage like the smaller TV companies in the US have roving reporters and even freelance coverage from general public ...

      Achankeng Stephenson Morfaw - 2013-08-04 17:35

      i will listen to the radio all days than to go a and subscribe for top tv. its nonsense

  • Somerset Morkel - 2013-07-01 15:59

    GOOD... let it die...

  • Michelle Benade - 2013-07-01 16:21

    its not toptv: Fox International discontinued fox retro which was boring in anycase and will be replacing the channel with something more exciting. NOT TOP TV

  • Alf Smith - 2013-07-01 17:23

    Top Tv Start To Sucks. With Fox Retro Gone, it is no use anymore. They keep on replace good with bad channels ad will loose more and more customers until they go down. They want to take channel away but won't reduce there subscription. What a Shame! I will soon be gone from Top TV. DSTV here I come!!

      Lee-Anne Smith - 2013-07-04 23:10

      We are doing the same! I Hello Peter'd TOPTV on Monday when I was greeted with the ridiculous gaming programme on SPARK. They were quick to respond and assure me that there would be an upgrade....please....the very next day I see FOX RETRO no longer available? Nope.....We're doing The Extra DSTV channel this weekend. Ciao TopTv.

  • Andre Wasserman - 2013-07-01 18:49

    TopTV is OK; can have more newer movies though. To the okes complaining about FoxRetro: Get real, did you actually watch that? Setanta & the other sport channels rock. You see stuff you don't see on dstv. Explore is a problem. If this replacement 'flash' or whatever sucks, I'm yanking the dish off the wall. Compared to UK all SA payTV sucks. They get a lot of BBC channels free, even free movies. Here you're always forced to pay load for loads of ... DSTV isn't all that hot either; check the comments on this page about their subscriber complaints. Maybe they should change the name to dsrtv r=repeat.

      Richard Scully - 2013-07-01 20:46

      I agree, SA must do all they can to keep top tv competition. Repeats on DSTV awful

  • Richard Scully - 2013-07-01 20:44

    It's a sad indictment on SA business competition that we are basically left with DSTV controlling the scene and prices. Competition commission should look into why top tv cannot have same channels as Dstv basic, and that those channels MUST offer their program to top tv

  • Quentin Netterberg - 2013-07-01 21:58

    Surely people are not so bored as to want to watch garbage ? I stopped watching all TV almost 20 years ago, because the best program was the Test Pattern.

  • John Fawkes - 2013-07-02 08:56

    I suppose back at head office it must be that time again; pay increases,trading the black merc in for that new bmw,shame really in the few months ive subscribed they lost 4 programs.So its goodbye and thanks for the memories....

  • Ayanda Matuka - 2013-07-02 13:15

    so happy with my dstv- pvr. would not change it for anything. call me whatever! that is me

  • Nelson Williams - 2013-07-02 13:38

    Toptv is worst. 5 channels are gone with no replacement . Which channel is gonna go dark next .

  • Martie Du Randt - 2013-07-16 08:51

    What happend to 7de Laan on tswane tv Channel 185

  • Roger Inez - 2013-08-30 12:54

    If top tv does not up it's game i'm migrating to dstv, as a subscriber to to top tv i feel i'm entitled to an explanation when changes are made!!!

  • Frank Abibu - 2013-09-04 07:04

    we need emmanuel tv on top tv.

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