Top TV to hit screens in May

On Digital Media (ODM) threw its hat into the subscription-broadcasting ring on Thursday with the announcement of Top TV, its new product offering.

The channel is expected to be launched in May this year and will be the first competition for incumbent MultiChoice.

Top TV will offer a total of 55 channels in bouquets that range from R99 to R249 per month.

The basic package consists of 25 channels and will cost subscribers R99 a month.

This will include six news channels, four religious channels, a movie channel, a Bollywood and a Nollywood channel, a football channel, a sports-news channel, an education channel, a fashion channel, a lifestyle channel, a Portuguese channel and a range of audio music channels.

On top of this subscribers will also have access to the four current terrestrial free-to-air channels run by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and

Subscribers can opt to buy additional channel bouquets, including a 14-channel kids and music bouquet, an 11-channel family and knowledge bouquet and a seven-channel premium bouquet.

If a customer opts for all four bouquets, they will pay R249 per month for 55 channels.

ODM has secured programming and channels from household names such as Fox, Warner, Disney, CBS, and Discovery, to name a few.

“We are very pleased with the relationships we’ve established with our content providers and look forward to bringing our subscribers enjoyable and entertaining programming,” says Ian Woodrow, ODM’s general manager of third-party channels.

TopTV is targeted principally at customers in the LSM5-8 bands, due to the fact that Multichoice has already monopilised the LSM 9-10 market.

Multichoice, like many subscription broadcasters, used sports and movie rights to drive its subscription numbers, which currently sit at over R2-million.

It remains to be seen if Top TV’s lack of quality sports channels will effect its take up in the market, however CEO Vino Govender says ODM has done years of market research and is convinced that not all South Africans are sports mad.

Govender said ODM would be targeting 5,5-million households in South Africa when it launches and it is expecting to have 380 000 subscribers by the 36th month of operations, which would be Top TV’s break-even point.

Lloyd Gedye

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