South Africa’s TV choices are more limited recently with the failure of TopTV, which is being sold to the Chinese-backed StarTimes Group.
However, there are now two proposed free-to-view satellite services in the offing. The first scheme, Platco, is being managed by Frans Lindeque, who was CTO at TopTV. His project is backed by e-TV, an existing free-to-air broadcaster with wider ambitions. Local reports say that the e-TV bundle of about 15 channels will be carried on Astra 5E, and Astra has confirmed that it has leased capacity to Platco Digital although the bouquet will be marketed as OpenView HD, and with an October launch date.
The other proposal comes from South Africa’s broadcasting signal distribution company, Sentech. Local reports say that Sentech is also planning to transmit a bundle of free-to-view channels via satellite. Sentech already broadcasts a group of channels under its ‘Vivid’ platform. But the reports say that Vivid is to be relaunched, complete with extra channels, next month.