Sabido (Pty) Ltd, the sole shareholder of free-to-air television service, e.tv, has applied for a satellite television subscription broadcasting licence. Sabido’s majority shareholder is Hosken Consolidated Investments, a trade-union controlled black empowerment company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
e.sat intends to provide a unique subscription television broadcasting service to middle income South Africans who are presently under-served by subscription television. It will do so by providing a predominantly locally-compiled programming service which includes movie, news and sports channels.
e.tv has a proven track record as a successful commercial television broadcaster in the South African market. After a tough launch in a highly competitive environment in 1999, e.tv became cash positive in 2004. The station now commands a 22% audience share and is the second largest television channel in the country.
e.tv CEO Marcel Golding said: “In applying for a commercial satellite subscription broadcasting licence, e.sat intends to leverage the experience gained by Sabido and e.tv in launching and operating a successful South African commercial television business.” Golding added that e.sat was uniquely positioned to introduce competition into the pay-television market.