TopTV not pay TV competition - report

2012-03-13 16:17
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – South African pay TV operator TopTV isn't real competition for South Africa's pay TV market, says the global investment firm Morgan Stanley in a new report.

On Digital Media (ODM) which runs the struggling pay TV platform "is unlikely to make major inroads" in the country's pay TV sector, the report says.

TopTV recently lost its CEO Vino Govender, who was replaced by a new interim CEO, Eddie Mbalo.

The operator also fought with South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), over highly controversial plans to start broadcasting pornographic channels, which caused a major public outcry and calls for a boycott.

Not finding value

The platform, which has no real sport channels and has added no significant new TV channels since it launched in May 2010, is in fact losing channels from its flagship bouquet.

Another channel disappeared on Sunday with continuing promises that replacement channels are being sourced.

TopTV also did an about-turn on earlier plans for a PVR and high definition (HD) channels, saying that it's no longer a top priority.

Just over half of the 360 000 TopTV decoders sold are still being used by active TopTV subscribers, suggesting that subscribers are not finding value in the product and the bouquet offering, despite a free installation.

DStv more sucessful

In the report, Morgan Stanley says competitor MultiChoice's DStv product is remaining competitive thanks in part to new value-added services like mobile TV, PVR use which is growing, and growing video-on-demand services such as DStv BoxOffice.

Although TopTV's pay TV offering is geared towards middle and lower income groups, Morgan Stanley said DStv is more successful and focused on "attracting middle and lower end paying subscribers through the DStv Lite and DStv Compact packages".

The investment firm predicts that MultiChoice's revenue growth of 22% last year will be followed by a 17% rise in total revenues this year and 5.6 million DStv subscribers in South Africa by 2015.


  • clivecorbz - 2012-03-13 16:31

    Was this an internal Naspers memo that got posted accidentally as news?

  • hayden.cajee - 2012-03-13 16:37

    Either way, we still getting screwed. Multichoice's revenue will continue to grow because they continue to exploit the consumer.

  • marius.koen2 - 2012-03-13 16:43

    Multichoice is very expensive

  • eric.viljoen - 2012-03-13 16:44

    "The platform, which has no real sport channels" Well there's your problem!

      John - 2012-03-13 16:48

      Yep. Having said that, I cannot justify paying close to R 700 a month just to watch rugby.

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-03-13 16:55

    I like TOPTV !

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-03-13 17:07

    Wait until broadband comes to the masses and then DSTV will be stuck - Netflix is revolutionising the way we watch TV and others

      lance.trent.kilkenny - 2012-03-13 18:15

      always amusing watching people when they have to rush home to catch an episode of a t.v show, if obviously they dont have pvr, that i have seen already LAST YEAR, cos i downgraded my dstv to upgrade my unlimited broadband connection :)

  • Leon - 2012-03-13 17:26

    I don't own Satelite TV. Why? Because I cannot select what I want in my bouquet. If TopTV atarts a "select what you want" bouquet service, they wil take the market away from Multichoice. Unfortunately they are too stupid to realise this.

  • Christelle 'Stella' Matthee - 2012-03-13 17:52

    Why do I own TopTV? NO adverts!!! I can watch CSI, Fringe and so on from start to end! That's why I will pay my monthly fee with a smile!

      Antoinette - 2012-04-15 16:47

      I totally agree - and for a mere R270 I see everything except the sport on dstv that costs R600.00+ - the only thing we watch on SABC these days is one program Survivor that is eqauls to an hour every week.

  • danamalan - 2012-03-13 17:52

    "which caused a major public outcry" What!? A whole eighteen people complained, how is that a "major public outcry"?

  • Odidi - 2012-03-13 22:06

    CHANNEL 24 MEDIA 24 NASPERS Do you really think people are this stupid to take you internal memo and down right biased propaganda as NEWS. I am insulted and offended. You are a monopoly and just like Microsoft you too will have your day in court and in hell. All THE WORST for sinking this low. Competition is good and you deserve to get an ass whipping from ICASA and the government. The audacity to pass this off as news show such undignified arrogance. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

      Seducect - 2012-03-14 09:36

      Ag shame! Jealous that you cannot afford DSTV or even TOP TV for that matter? You must be in love with SABC then!

  • Grant - 2012-03-14 08:48

    Ag Thinus how much did multi choice pay you this time?

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