Summary: DStv BoxOffice online still aims to launch by the end of 2011 and does not intend to backtrack on making the service available to all SA Internet users
DStv Online still plans to make its BoxOffice video-on-demand (VOD) service available on the networks of all South African Internet service providers (ISPs) by the end of the year, according to John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Online.
Telkom has also previously revealed that they have plans to offer their VOD service in future, seemingly placing the incumbent in direct competition with not just Mweb, but MultiChoice as well.
Another factor leading this question to be raised is the statement by Steven White, an executive from consumer and retail business at Telkom, who said that the incumbent now has the technology to allow them to zero-rate certain types of traffic and premium-rate others.
This suggests that Telkom is considering charging different rates for different types of traffic.
On the one hand this could mean that TelkomInternet subscribers might be able to access Telkom’s VOD services (or other content, for that matter) cheaply or even for free. This could also mean that Telkom might be looking at charging more for traffic to competing content services.
DStv Online’s John Kotsaftis said that while their plan is to make the online BoxOffice service available to all SA Internet users regardless of ISP, they have no control over ISPs that may opt to restrict certain Internet services.
Asked whether they’ve received any indication that some ISPs might not allow BoxOffice on their networks, DStv Online declined to comment further.
On 30 September 2011, after the launch of their uncapped accounts, MyBroadband also asked Telkom follow-up questions in this regard, but the company declined to comment.
A Telkom spokesperson explained on 3 October 2011 that they had entered their closed period in the meantime and according to JSE rules, could not comment on competitor-sensitive information or make forward-looking statements until they present their interim results at the end of November 2011.