With effect from 1 July 2006 Sasani has sold its business television interests in Global Access.. The major studios and other facilities currently servicing the Binnelanders production will not be affected in any way by the business television disposal.
(See the August issue of Screen Africa News Magazine which carries a headline story on the new owners of the Global Access business television interests.)
Sasani CEO James Whitehouse explains: “Global Access consists essentially of two parts a€” the business television (BTV) division and the studio division. The BTV part of the business has access to two commercial channels on the MultiChoice platform and uses these channels to broadcast encrypted business television directly to nominated users. The service was originally set up by ABSA bank and gradually acquired by Sasani over the last few years.
“The second part, housing the majority of fixed assets, consists of the two large stages on the 6th floor of Broadcast House. These are fully equipped with cameras, peds, dimmers, lights and a control room. Although Sasani only sold the contracts out of Global Access (Pty) Ltd, they have agreed to transfer the Global Access name with the BTV interests. The two television stages in the Fox Street building will be re-branded as Sasani Studios Fox Street and marketed alongside Sasani’s other seven stages in Highlands North through ZSE Televsion.”
Whitehouse said that the disposal was consistent with the Sasani strategy to move systematically out of underperforming assets in order to focus on growth businesses. “Quite frankly, we thought (and still think) that business television has significant potential. But in the time we were involved with Global we were not able to maximize that potential. I think it’s fair to say that Global Access operates in a slightly different space to the rest of our businesses.”
Whitehouse said that Sasani had been particularly pleased to sell to a grouping of passionate media experts who they felt would be able to optimize the Global potential. Together with the significant empowerment element in the new shareholder base, he felt they would have an excellent chance to extend the opportunities for all the Global Access BTV staff.