MultiChoice looks to web, mobile TV

On Digital Media is expected to launch its pay-TV service by year end, but the internet is also on the MultiChoice’s radar.

“Our focus is to concentrate on subscribers and to provide compelling content,” Nolo Letele, CEO of MultiChoice, said in an interview with Business Day yesterday.

While the internet has only limited penetration in SA, MultiChoice’s parent company Naspers has already said it is ultimately expected to compete with pay-TV.

“It will take five years before we have true broadband available Then we will see the internet providing an enhanced way of consuming content,” Letele said.

In the meantime, DStv on Demand offered a web-based catch-up service for subscribers, and the company was conducting a trial of IPTV — TV delivered via the internet — in a gated community.

Next year an internet-enabled decoder would be available, allowing customers to access online content and watch it on TV rather than computer screens, he said.

However, SA has lagged with regard to mobile TV. MultiChoice has already launched the service in Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia, and is rolling it out in Uganda.

Icasa last week said licensing of mobile TV services would be complete before year-end — well ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Letele, however, said former president Thabo Mbeki’s promise that the World Cup would be broadcast on cellphones might not be met.

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MultiChoice looks to web, mobile TV