Openview adding 35,000 activations per month

eMedia Holdings has released its consolidated annual results for the year ended 31 March 2019, which show that Openview is activating an average of 35,000 set-top boxes per month.

eMedia Holdings has a 67.69% interest in eMedia Investments, which owns e.tv, eNCA, and Openview.

“Openview set-top box activations continue to grow at an average of 35,000 per month. At the end of the period, a total of 1,574,395 (2018: 1,149,217) boxes have been activated,” said the company.

A total of R55.3 million (2018: R74.5 million) has been spent on retail subsidies, added the company.

“Operating costs, including retail subsidies of R55.3 million, amounted to R185.4 million compared to R193.6 million in the prior year.”

eMedia Holdings said the decrease is mainly due to the reduction in subsidies provided from R150 to R75 per set-top box in October.

“The financial year also saw the launch of PVR functionality for the Openview box and the new financial year will see the launch of a few more technical initiatives in Platco,” it said.

Content prices

Openview – inclusive of the e.tv multi-channel business – earned advertising revenue of R131.8 million for the period, said the company.

However, it incurred content costs of R255.7 million – up from R173.6 million the previous year.

“The increase is attributable to the launch of Open News as well as the addition of an Afrikaans block on eExtra and the launch of eReality in November.”

The group continues to invest in the Openview platform, which remains loss-making, it said.

“The television market is facing numerous technology and viewership challenges which will require the group to continually assess its strategic alternatives. Our investment in Openview provides the group with strategic flexibility and is part of our plan to address the challenges of the impending digital migration transition,” said eMedia Holdings.

“With the sale and our closure of certain non-core assets during the year, the group is focused on its core businesses of broadcasting, content creation and a platform and technology provider.”

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Openview adding 35,000 activations per month