The current ICASA Pay-TV licensing hearings are on the way in Sandton, and Telkom Media is confident that it has what it takes to bring value to the commercial television space.
Telkom has already invested millions into their Pay-TV subsidiary Telkom Media, and according to iWeek there are plans to invest a further R 7.5 Billion into this division. This is something that should make MultiChoice, whose monopoly is now coming to an end, quake in their boots. While they are also looking at new technologies and possible new offerings, not too much about their plans have emerged.
Telkom Media said that they plan on offering subscription content over both satellite TV and IPTV. This means that Telkom Media will take MultiChoice on directly in the satellite TV space while they will also target the Telkom ADSL subscriber base with innovative IPTV services.
“On the satellite service we will offer a tiered bouquet structure of channels that begin with an entry level bouquet at not more than R100 per month. Content will be themed along the lines of general entertainment, sport, SA news and current affairs (we will have a 24hr pan African news service), kids and education, lifestyle, movies etc,” said Telkom Media.
“Subscribers will have the option to purchase additional channels. We envisage that we will have up to 40 channels on offer. Additional channels include series, documentary/factual, culture/religion, edutainment. We will also carry the free to air channels,” Telkom Media continued.
On the IPTV service, subscribers will receive all the channels available on the satellite service, plus access to additional channels and Video on Demand services.
All of this hinges on Telkom Media receiving a pay-TV license from ICASA, but it is highly likely that this will be the case.
“We are confident that we have a viable business offering, the necessary funding and the skills to provide South African consumers with an offering that will not only address a market that has not been able to afford the current payTV offering, but we will also introduces a new form of TV experience with respect to the IPTV service,” said Telkom Media.
The new media company looks ready to take on MultiChoice and add value to the current subscription television market.
On the satellite offering they are targeting the emerging middle class that has traditionally not been catered for by Multichoice. With IPTV, Telkom Media said that their service will have all the features and functionalities of a traditional pay-TV service with PVR , but offers a much richer entertainment experience – including Video on Demand and interactive services such as picture in picture, instant channel changes, catch-up TV etc.
Telkom Media’s head office will be based in Centurion and they are looking at various options for their studios, including a combination of building their own and utilising existing facilities.