eMedia has announced that it will launch “a few” more channels on its Openview platform in its 2022/23 financial year.
In its annual results for 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, the broadcaster also said it would introduce an upgraded “smarter” decoder with storage and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Openview reported that its decoder activations increased every month from an average of 35,000 to 40,000 per month during the year under review.
By 31 March, it had activated 2,774,454 boxes.
Openview and eMedia’s channels on DStv accounted for 21.9% of eMedia’s advertising revenue, bringing in R468.1 million — up from R269.6 million in the previous year.
“Profitability in this unit has been achieved for the first time with content costs for the fiscal being pegged at R446.3 million,” eMedia reported.
eMedia reported an improvement in the ratings of the six channels it produces for satellite TV.
eExtra, eMovies Extra, and eReality rank in the top 15 of all satellite channels available in South Africa, the company said.
“The distribution of the four Openview entertainment channels on Multichoice, which contributed to the group’s audience and revenue share, is presently under investigation by the Competition Commission,” eMedia said.
This is after DStv declined to renew its carriage agreement.
“At the time of this report, the channels remain on the Multichoice bouquet as a decision is yet to be received.”
Overall, eMedia said it experienced a resounding rebound in its financial performance, reporting R426.4 million profit compared to R138.5 million last year.
“The year’s profit is also significantly better than the pre-Covid-19 year fiscal which ended in March 2020, which ended with an adjusted profit after adding back the goodwill impairment of R241.6 million.”
eMedia said its R3.2 billion annual revenue is the highest it had ever achieved, underscored by an increase in television advertising revenue to R2.1 billion.
“The group benefitted from the resurgence of television advertising revenues as compared to the pandemic affected years which experienced a decline in advertising spend,” eMedia stated.
“This benefit in advertising revenues can be attributed to an increase in the Group’s prime time audience market share from 29.6% in March 2021 to 34.1% in March 2022 — an increase of 15.2%.”
eMedia warned that E-tv could be affected by South Africa’s imminent analogue switch-off.
“But the group is confident that the audience share will be carefully managed,” eMedia said.
“At present, the group is awaiting a Constitutional Court decision on whether the switch-off would be delayed giving more time to assist ordinary South Africans to be well accommodated and not be left without TV.”
eMedia also reported that its eVOD streaming service has seen encouraging uptake.
Daily minutes viewed are more than 1,000,000.
“The eOriginals offering on eVOD is the leading audience generator on eVOD, making the group bullish about investing a further R100 million in local original content, which will be amortised across the group’s platforms and channels.”
MyBroadband contacted Openview for more details about its planned new channels, but it did not respond by the time of publication.