TopTV's mistakes laid bare

2013-04-19 11:24
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – China's StarTimes media group, which is looking to potentially bail out the beleaguered TopTV in South Africa, gives a brutal assessment of the myriad mistakes TopTV made in TopTV's new Business Rescue Plan.

StarTimes has harsh words for the TopTV management, saying it "implemented an unrealistic operation strategy and business development plan" and that while the "overall management incurred high remuneration, purchasing and operation cost", the pay-TV service suffered due to a lack of "previous experience in, and a deep understanding of, the pay-TV industry and a general lack of business management experience".

StarTimes says it has identified "operational deficiencies" in TopTV which includes "low quality programming, high costs, inappropriate packaging and a high churn rate".

It also says TopTV has a small subscriber base which impacts content cost, purchase cost, subscriber development cost and market competitiveness.

Low quality programmes

StarTimes says "the lack of scale and experience of management resulted in low quality and highly priced programmes" at TopTV.

StarTimes says TopTV "failed to observe that television is an entertaining terminal enjoyed by the whole family" in terms of how it designed packages, and that this led to TopTV's "active user rate being extremely low" while its subscriber base stagnated.

"The subscriber either has to buy all the packages (in which case TopTV does not have any advantage over DStv in terms of price), or buy the basic package which offers limited programming.

"Because the other packages cannot be sold alone, TopTV subscribers can either not afford the whole bouquet or they feel the programmes on the limited, low-cost package is not an attractive option."

TopTV entered business rescue to stave off liquidation at the end of October 2012 after it was declared technically insolvent in June 2012.

StarTimes is willing to invest in TopTV but proposes a radical overhaul should a deal materialise.

The Business Rescue Plan names StarTimes' interest in acquiring a stake in TopTV as the company's only and last chance to prevent liquidation. South African broadcasting regulations currently cap foreign ownership in licensed broadcasting entities at 20%.

* Are you a TopTV subscriber? Have you been enjoying their service? Let us know - TV@Channel24.co.za - and get published.

Comments

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2013-04-19 11:33

    Wow they are going to kung-fu-fy us.Top Tv was doomed to fail right from the beginning.

      Bafana.Ndlovu - 2013-04-19 13:59

      The porn shall set us free

      Kwajo Musa - 2013-04-24 13:36

      I read this morning that TOPTV channels for porn have been approved. Finally democracy prevail

  • Peter Ndamase - 2013-04-19 12:44

    This is not good news at all. DSTV continue to monopolise the industry. Basically we are screwed with the ludicrous year increment from DSTV. They have made it impossible for new entrants, the competition commission should start looking at their pricing vs quality content

      Kwajo Musa - 2013-04-20 06:29

      @ Warren van Wyk - Do you really think there is a government official out there getting free pay view from DSTV? Damn I never thought that way then we will continue paying the hard way. These thing must be declare by DSTV as to who they are giving free view? I mean the same people might be opposing competition access to pay per view TV.

  • Tuner - 2013-04-19 12:46

    Well lets hope the authorities have the sense to realise that they need to readjust their thinking and allow the chinese to gain a larger control of TopTV because DSTV need the competition. They are too arrogant with their exorbitant charges.

  • Rahil Khanna - 2013-04-19 12:57

    Pay view View how about that ! Thats the way to go

  • Marian En Malcolm Pipe - 2013-04-19 13:06

    Any company that resorts to pornography to save its bacon must hopefully be doomed to failure. They can’t attract wholesome customers so they resort to attracting pervs.

  • Renier Moolman - 2013-04-19 17:14

    TopTV is great!! Way better than SABC & etv. It gives a great alternative for those who can not afford DSTV and it is not expensive at all. Some channels are on par with DSTV and some even better. I really hope that TopTV does not go away. I did not expect much from TopTv when I purchased it, but was pleasantly surprised. TopTv vs DSTV – Documentary Channels = TopTv is on par; Music Channels = Toptv is better (more choice); Sport Channels = DSTV is better, but only because TopTV doesn’t show local sport. Movie Channels = DSTV is way better (but only because it is newer movies); Children’s Channels = DSTV better; News Channels = TopTV on par maybe even better; Religious channels = The same I guess; Other variety Channels = On par. Bottom line - for the price – you get a whole lot that is nice. For all the Channels only R269.00pm – not bad at all.

  • Phumlani Loliwe - 2013-04-19 17:18

    Bring on the Chinese coz I'm sick of paying R625(from this month) for bloody repeats and dumb programmes!

      Renier Moolman - 2013-04-19 17:53

      Where do you get the price increase info from? I've received no notice from TopTv nor is there anything on their site about any price changes. Or are you talking about DSTV? As far as I know there in no price increase at TopTV, besides a jump from R269.00 to R625.00 does not seem realistic.

      Wiebrand Herbershausen - 2013-04-19 21:38

      I think Phumlani's referring to DSTV cost.

      Kwajo Musa - 2013-04-20 07:04

      @ Reiner , he is referring to DSTV premium view. I Own both DSTV full package and Toptv full package. They are unique on their own right. Yes if you are sport person DSTV is the master. New release after movie reach video store DSTV lead. This HD thing Toptv need to look into. Retro- toptv lead. Baby stuff- toptv lead. If you just want entertainment in general - Toptv is affordable and nearly a replica of DSTV. If I had to vote - I will vote for Toptv if they make few improvements.

  • Kwajo.m - 2013-04-20 06:22

    These guys currently are offering Nigerians the following Available Bouquet on Statimes Decoder is as follow: A. Basic Bouquet (1000/Month), 36 channels - R 58,23 B. Classic Bouquet (2000/Month), 46 channels- R 116, 45 C. Unique Bouquet (4000/Month) 51 channels - R 232,90 With Basic Bouquet you will be able to view the above 36 channels List of Channels available on the Basic Bouquet Plan NTA 24 LAGOS SILVER BIRD TV CHANNELS MITV LTV DBN GALAXY TV TVC BBC WORLD NEWS MSNBC NTA 24 CCTV NEWS CCTV 4 FRANCE 24 AJEZEERA ORISUN STVE2 STVC1 MGM e – STAR KIDS CO NTA K MCS NTA 24 SPORTS SENTATA AFRICA e NTA E REAL STAR TV BET STARTIMES MUSIC KENNIS MUSIC NIGIZZIE ANIMAUX NATURE & HISTORY TBN IQRAA Their premium package does not differ from what toptv is currently show, With Unique Bouquet you will be able to view splendid fifty one(51) channels NTA 24 LAGOS SILVER BIRD TV CHANNELS MITV LTV DBN GALAXY TV TVC ORISUN STAR GOLD TRUE MOVIES NTA 24 (Sport) NTA K NTA E NTA 24 (NEWS) e-STAR (NIGERIAN MOVIES) REAL STAR E FOX STAR PLUS ANIMAUX FASHION ONE NATURE & HISTORY CHANNEL EXPLORER & CRIME MGM e BET MTV BASE KENNIS MUSIC NIGEZIE STARTIMES MUSIC AJAZEERA MSNBC BBC WORLD NEWS FRANCE 24 CCTV NEWS CCTV4 SENTANTA AFRICA KIDS Co TBN IQRAA ARABIC STVC1 (CHINESE KUNGFU MOVIES) STVE2 (ENGLISH MOVIES) BOLLYWOOD TV STARTIMES KUNFU MCS EXTREME MCS INTER NICKELODEON DISCOVERY WORLD PHOENIX STVE1

  • Joey Julia - 2013-04-25 11:15

    We as WOMEN should be MORTIFIED that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has GRANTED TopTV a license to launch three hard-core porn channels in SA. we have highest rates of sexual violence against women & children in the world!!!!! There is no victory when men are reduced to slaves of their lusts and women are portrayed as mindless sex objects!!

  • Joey Julia - 2013-04-25 11:15

    We as WOMEN should be MORTIFIED that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has GRANTED TopTV a license to launch three hard-core porn channels in SA. we have highest rates of sexual violence against women & children in the world!!!!! There is no victory when men are reduced to slaves of their lusts and women are portrayed as mindless sex objects!!

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