Incoming pay-TV operator Super5Media has confirmed that their broadcast services must commence in February 2010. This is to meet the regulations provided by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) in the company’s broadcast licence agreement.
Super5Media Director Tian Du Pisanie confirmed that the company must begin broadcasting by February 2010 to adhere to the conditions stipulated in their Satellite and Cable broadcast licence.
In November former Super5Media spokesperson Chris van Zyl revealed that the broadcaster was targeting a launch within the first half of 2010 adding that the company was finalising its product offering. Du Pisanie has since added that Super5Media is currently in the process of negotiating final channel packages that are “in line with [the company’s] licence requirements”.
Upon launch the company will “have a similar DTH offering to MultiChoice” in that subscribers will require a set top box and a satellite dish to receive the broadcast signal; this will offer a “comprehensive suite of products which may include Video on Demand”.
On Digital Media Head of Regulatory Affairs Dimitri Martinis revealed that ODM was obligated to deliver services by February 2010, but has been granted an extension until July 2010. Martinis stressed that this extension will not impact on their broadcast delivery date as the company is targeting a launch of April 2010.
Martinis further confirmed that ICASA has now granted ODM its ECNS licence which will allow the company to broadcast its own signal. In September ODM CEO Vino Govender criticised the regulator for not issuing this licence, thereby delaying broadcast launch by roughly four months.
On Digital Media subscribers will require a set top box and a satellite dish to receive the ODM signal. This will be installed by an accredited technician said company spokesperson Eloise Kelly, who added “quite a few” channels had been confirmed and that a group of ODM executives were currently overseas finalising channel offerings.
ICASA was contacted regarding the repercussions Super5Media and ODM will face if they fail to meet broadcast deadlines, but no response had been received at the time of publishing.