TelkomOne’s streaming service has been shut down two years after its launch and replaced with the long-promised SABC+ streaming platform.
The SABC previously partnered with Telkom to roll out TelkomOne in November 2020, through which it offered its live channels and popular content via online streaming.
Telkom started sending SMSs to customers earlier this week, notifying them that the platform would be temporarily unavailable until 17 November 2022.
It advised customers to “look out for a new and exciting service”.
The TelkomOne website presented visitors with a similar notification from midnight on Tuesday, 15 November 2022.
In a subsequent SMS, the network operator revealed that it had migrated TelkomOne’s content to a new service called SABC+, which could be accessed at www.sabcplus.com.
The SABC had long promised it would launch an over-the-top streaming service to better reach its target audience.
The broadcaster previously said it was testing the platform in early 2022 and planned to launch the service by the third quarter of its 2022/2023 financial year, or the fourth quarter of 2022.
It officially launched the service during a media event on Thursday morning.
SABC group chief executive officer Madoda Mxakwe said the service signalled “a new digital era for the SABC and a key accomplishment in addressing universal access for all citizens”.
Curiously, the streaming service does not appear to be self-developed by the SABC, as it had implied.
Its interface, features, and content appear to be basically identical to TelkomOne’s, aside from the branding and colour changes.
As before, viewers can stream all the SABC’s live TV channels and 19 radio stations for free.
On-demand content includes catch-up episodes from its most popular soaps and series, and a selection of movies and documentaries.
Featuring prominently on the home page at the time of launch were banner ads for Generations: The Legacy, Uzalo, Muvhango, The Estate, and Good Men.
Scrolling down the home page will show content categorised under sections like Trending, Top Rated, Local is Lekker, Binge-Worthy, Drama, Variety, and Comedy.
The browser-based interface has separate sections for TV, Radio, News, Sport, and Catch Up.
In addition to the free service, SABC+ also still includes Telkom’s former paid-for Amp subscription option.
Amp includes access to a range of additional live channels, including BBC World News, Boing, FashionTV, and TNT Africa, as well as on-demand content from some of these providers.
Pricing has also remained the same, with R7 for a daily subscription, weekend subscriptions for R17, weekly membership for R19, and a monthly package at R49.
Each of these subscriptions also includes the following amounts of Telkom data for streaming:
- Daily — 90MB
- Weekend — 360MB
- Weekly — 720MB
- Monthly — 1,800MB
No TV licence necessary to get started
To start streaming on SABC+, users must make an account by entering their mobile number and creating a password.
Former TelkomOne users can use their existing credentials to log in to the site.
Notably, the platform does not require providing TV licence details, like the BBC’s iPlayer does for viewers in the UK.
Aside from web browsers, SABC+ will also be available through Android and iOS mobile apps and on Hisense’s Smart TV operating system VIDAA U.
While MyBroadband could not find the SABC+ app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store at the time of writing, the broadcaster said these would be ready in time for the start of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
The SABC will be broadcasting and streaming 28 of the 64 matches from the tournament from 20 November 2022.