Openview getting new decoders

E-tv and Openview owner eMedia has promised that it is working on upgraded decoders for its satellite TV platform.

In its annual financial results published on Thursday, eMedia said Openview would get “a smarter set-top box” with “memory facilities and Wi-Fi capability.”

eMedia made the same promise in last year’s financial results.

It also said Openview would receive “a few more channels” this fiscal year, between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.

Since Openview is not a subscription service, eMedia reports set-top box (decoder) activations instead of subscriber numbers.

“The set-top box activations for Openview for the year amounted to 513,840, taking the amount of activated set-top boxes to 3,166,461,” it stated.

eMedia did launch a pay-TV add-on for Openview called Ultraview earlier this year, but the service was in operation for less than a month before the end of its financial year.

Regarding the channels Openview produces, eMedia said the ratings of six channels broadcast on Openview and DStv improved.

“eExtra, eMovies Extra, and eReality rank in the top 15 of all satellite channels available in South Africa,” it said.

eReality is broadcast exclusively on Openview, whereas eExtra and eMovies Extra are also available on DStv.

Openview accounted for 23.8% of eMedia’s advertising revenue, amounting to R501.3 million — up from R468.7 million in the previous year.

“Profitability in this unit has been maintained with content costs for the fiscal being pegged at R381.0 million,” eMedia said.

“The distribution of the four Openview entertainment channels on MultiChoice [DStv], which contributed to the Group’s audience and revenue share, is still under investigation by the Competition Commission after non-renewal of the channel carriage agreement,” it said.

The Competition Appeal Court ruled in August that MultiChoice must reinstate four eMedia channels on the DStv platform after dropping them at the beginning of June 2022.

eMedia complained to the Competition Commission after MultiChoice refused to renew its channel supply agreement for E-tv Extra, eToonz, eMovies, and eMovies Extra.

The Competition Tribunal initially ruled in favour of MultiChoice, saying that eMedia’s complaint does not meet the requirements for exclusionary conduct.

MultiChoice immediately dropped the channels, leading to an appeal by eMedia.

The Competition Appeal Court ordered that the channels be reinstated while the Competition Commission conducts an investigation.

eMedia said it still awaits the Competition Commission’s decision.

Now read: DStv vs Openview vs StarSat — prices and channels compared

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Openview getting new decoders