South Africa getting new DTH service
March 12, 2021
By Chris Forrester
PremiumFree TV, a new DTH service, will launch in South Africa on May 1st.
PremiumFree TV will initially comprise 18 channels and says it will carry a range of content from sports and movies and telenovelas.
PremiumFree is already available in West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria) since late 2018, but is now expanding with a 25-channel bouquet of free channels to South Africa after it secured transponder space on Intelsat’s IS-20 satellite. The bundle has been test-broadcasting since January 2021.
Distribution is impressive and says the cluster is available through an additional 40 million installed satellite dishes, and claims to be the most widely-available multichannel bundle in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Broadcasting unencrypted not only means that the service can be offered free of charge, it also means that the channels can be instantly received on dishes and decoders already owned, installed and connected,” said Craig Kelly, CEO of AfricaXP, the company backing PremiumFree TV. “It’s all about instant reach for us and with no extra equipment or cost for the viewer.”
The broadcaster says that any ‘generic’ or ‘universal’ free-to-air MPEG-4 DVB-S decoder should be able to pick up the channels. “Almost any decoder that is new and available for sale now is likely to work — it does not need a smartcard slot or any encryption system embedded,” the company stressed.