Tag Archives: Openview

BBC partners Openview on FTA net

The Great British Bake Off

BBC Studios (BBCS) has partnered with satellite TV platform Openview to launch BBC UKTV, its first free-to-air channel in South Africa.

The channel launches on October 18 and will offer entertainment, natural history series, soaps and children’s shows from the BBCS catalogue.

Shows in the launch schedule include: food-themed The Great British Bake Off S8, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook and Mary Berry Cooks; soaps Casualty S36 and Doctors S22; sitcom My Family; and docs Wild Africa and Africa with Ade Adepitan.

Motoring shows Million Dollar Car Hunters and Top Gear S19 are also in the mix, while for kids the net will air Go Jetters, My World Kitchen, Andy’s Safari Adventures and My Pet & Me.

The launch of BBC UKTV joins BBCS’s existing channels in South Africa – namely BBC Earth, BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC World News on MultiChoice’s DStv platform. The UK pubcaster also launched BBC Kids on the Play Store after a deal with telco MTN earlier this month.

The move comes as Openview grows its channel bouquet with more international and niche offerings. It recently launched Turkish drama channel ePlesier, with imported series dubbed into Afrikaans, as well as Gen Z lifestyle network eXposed and The Home Channel+.

More than three million South African homes have access to Openview, according to the company, and it offers more than 18 TV channels and 28 radio stations.

“The launch will enable us to reach wider audiences utilising the richness of the BBC’s catalogue across multiple genres,” said Arran Tindall, BBCS’s senior VP of EMEA key markets.

Commercial director for Africa Pierre Cloete added: “BBC UKTV has been carefully crafted to match the viewing habits of the whole family, providing all age groups entertainment at every moment of the day.”

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PremiumFree TV reaches South Africa

Free-to-air satellite television service PremiumFree TV from international channels operator AfricaXP will launch in South Africa on May 1.

Craig Kelly

The new service will feature a bouquet of 18 TV channels, including BongoTV (focusing on Swahili movies), True African Channel (African blockbusters), Fresh (reality shows), Limelight (family and action movies), Romanza+ Africa (telenovelas) and LOL Africa (comedy).

Also in the bouquet are Sports Connect, Kiddiwinks, Pulse, Riverwood (Kenyan movies), RPM (motor sports channel), LifeTV (crime and investigation), DIVA (entertainment), Gospellife, Fight Night (martial arts and boxing) and Synapse (e-gaming).

Viewers can access the channels through Openview decoders, MultiChoice’s DStv decoders and universal free-to-air set-top decoders using a satellite dish.

In late 2018, AfricaXP launched PremiumFree TV in Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa with 13 TV channels as a freely available satellite TV offering. The company is bringing its multichannel bouquet to sub-Saharan Africa two-and-a-half years later after acquiring space on Intelsat’s IS20 satellite.

AfricaXP CEO Craig Kelly told SA blog TV With Thinus: “Broadcasting unencrypted not only means that the service can be offered free of charge, it also means that the channels can be instantly received on dishes and decoders already owned, installed and connected. It’s all about instant reach for us and with no extra equipment or cost for the viewer.

“After years of stagnation in the African TV market, characterised by the regular failure of new pay TV initiatives, Intelsat’s decision to seek out AfricaXP as a partner and allocate one of the few available transponders on IS20 to PremiumFree TV is a clear vote of confidence in the PremiumFree TV project. Intelsat has a clear conviction that multichannel free-to-air TV delivered over satellite has a big role to play in the future of the African TV market.”

Intelsat senior account director Christelle Meyer added: “Many countries dealing with economic disparity or smaller populations struggle with making fibre and mobile broadband work as a universal media distribution technology. Satellite will play a vital role in delivering rich media content to all corners of the continent well into the future.”

Meyer said that since January 7 PremiumFree TV has been transmitting a pilot channel on the IS20 transponder with at least 18 TV channels in a bouquet that will be tested from April and PremiumFree TV will officially launch on May 1.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer a compelling multichannel bouquet to such a large and underserved market. Free-to-air TV is critical in stimulating the market by offering value to a segment that can’t afford to pay regularly for premium content, if at all,” Meyer added.

“A strong media industry is symbiotic for the whole ecosystem. Strong free-to-air drives penetration of TV sets, stimulate content development and grows viewing habits which in turn attracts advertisers. We hope to make our contribution to stimulating activity to the benefit for all players.”

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SABC to carry NBA basketball games

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has acquired television broadcast rights to National Basketball Association (NBA) games.

Victor Williams

Under the multi-year agreement, SABC Sport will air more than 35 games throughout the season, including a Christmas Day game, NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Conference Finals and The Finals as well as hosting weekly magazine show NBA Action, which covers the league’s news and highlights.

The games will be broadcast live or delayed on SABC1 and SABC Sport on the DTT, TelkomOne and Openview platforms.

Gary Rathbone, SABC’s sport general manager, said: “SABC sport is incredibly thrilled to add one of the world’s most exciting and respected leagues to its live sports offering, as we know that there is a sports audience which loves the game of basketball in Mzansi. In bringing this great global sporting spectacle to our viewers, the SABC will also be setting out to inspire and entertain a whole new generation of basketball fans all over the country. Exciting times for Mzansi sports fans, Fo’ Sho.”

Victor Williams, NBA Africa’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to once again partner with SABC, beginning with our milestone 75th anniversary season. Through this partnership we look forward to bringing the excitement of the NBA to more of our passionate fans in South Africa as part of our continued commitment to making basketball more accessible across the continent.”

The first live broadcast will begin with a pre-game live studio presentation at 22.30 on Saturday October 30 at 23.00 SAST, followed by the inaugural live broadcast of the 75th anniversary season, where the Washington Wizards will host the Boston Celtics.

The live or delayed broadcasts will start between 20.00 and midnight on the same Saturday on SABC1 and SABC Sport.

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SABC launches sports channel

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has launched SABC Sports Channel to provide “compelling and exciting” local and international sporting content.

Gary Rathbone

SABC Sport Channel is available on eMedia’s free-to-air satellite platform OpenView 124, TelkomONE’s mobile platform and the SABC’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) service.

The move comes after the network’s soft launch via the same platforms in April. The channel also has a YouTube presence.

Gary Rathbone, general manager of SABC Sport, said the South African public broadcaster had always been the ultimate sporting home for the country’s sports fans.

“Through the events we showcase on the SABC platforms, we want to inspire up-and-coming athletes in the various sporting disciplines to reach for their dreams,” Rathbone said.

“Our newly launched sports channel on the DTT, OpenView and TelkomOne platforms, must also be commended. Since the channel became operational in April this year, its audience figures have been positive, with the latest TAMS figure showing a total reach of over two million, a 5% share of the national television market.

“On OpenView alone, the channel has established itself amongst the top 10 on the bouquet, with a total reach of over 1.4 million, representing a 24% share of the OpenView market. This is really positive start for an exciting new Sport Channel that South Africans will be able to access without needing to pay a subscription.”

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