Openview’s major channel changes in 2023

eMedia made only one change to the channel catalogue offered with its Openview HD package in 2023, but the move didn’t do much to expand its channel offerings.

Openview HD is a satellite TV product customers can use without paying a monthly fee. All that is required is to buy the decoder, dish, and installation once-off.

This works out to approximately R1,499.

The package features various eMedia channels, including E-tv, eMovies, eMovies Extra, ePlesier, and eToonz, as well as a selection of SABC channels and several others.

The only change to eMedia’s Openview HD channel catalogue in 2023 was the rebranding of eXposed to eSeries in September 2023.

eMedia said eSeries viewers could expect an “unmatched, dramatic rollercoaster ride” featuring international series across various genres.

This includes old and new sitcoms, drama series, lifestyle shows, and Korean programming.

“The eSeries channel is making top-rated international content available to the Openview customer, which many have never seen before,” eMedia said.

“There is so much to watch, and the channel has something which appeals to everyone, from early evening to late night.”

Some shows offered on eSeries include The NannyThe Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Impractical JokersNeighbourhood WarsHouse of CardsSuitsThe Walking DeadMasterchef, and Love Island.

Openview HD customers could soon see more channels added to the catalogue, with eMedia announcing in its latest annual results that it will launch “a few more channels” this financial year.

While the financial year is approaching its end, the broadcaster has until 31 March 2024 to stay true to its promise.

Openview HD decoders.

While Openview didn’t do much to expand its channel catalogue in 2023, it did launch a pay-TV service called Ultraview, through which users can add subscription channel packages to their accounts for a fee.

“Ultraview enables viewers to see additional bouquets of content for a monthly subscription, whilst retaining and enjoying the free Openview content on their decoder,” eMedia said.

“Unlike other services, Ultraview allows viewers to find exclusive niche content, conveniently in one place, and pick stand-alone bouquets.”

The service went live in March 2023, and it currently offers two bouquets: the Spice Bouquet, which provides access to a range of Hindi and Indian programming, and the Edge Bouquet, which lets customers access two LGBTQI-focused channels.

The Spice Bouquet is priced at R119.99 per month, while customers will pay R74.99 monthly for the Edge Bouquet.

eMedia announced that it is working on upgraded decoders for Openview in May 2023.

The company said Openview would get “a smarter set-top box” with “memory facilities and Wi-Fi capability” in its annual financial results for the 2022/23 financial year.

It had made similar promises in its annual financial results the year before, which did not come to fruition.

As the Openview HD product isn’t a subscription service, eMedia doesn’t measure subscriber numbers and instead reports decoder activations.

“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 said.

This was up from 2,774,454 activations on 31 March 2022.

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Openview’s major channel changes in 2023