Newly licensed South African satellite pay-TV broadcaster, Telkom Media has purchased a 49% shareholding in One Africa Television, a Namibian free-to-air television operator.
The transaction with One Africa TV is part of Telkom Media’s strategy to extend and stimulate demand for its services beyond the borders of South Africa and act as a catalyst for the development of convergent solutions in Africa.
According to Mandla Ngcobo, CEO of Telkom Media, the Namibian broadcaster presents a good investment for the company.
“We have been following the spectacular growth of the Namibian broadcaster with great interest and we are convinced that One Africa TV has created a ground breaking free-to-air broadcasting model that is uniquely adapted to the requirements of the continent.’
Telkom Media’s partnership with One Africa TV is part of its strategy to utilise free-to-air (FTA) as an additional advertising platform.
“Linking up with other FTA operators in Africa has benefits for advertisers as we are expanding the potential advertising customer base,’ says Ngcobo.
One Africa TV has been in operation for four years and is the largest private commercial broadcaster in Namibia with more than 400,000 viewers.
“On average, our viewers’ watch three and half hours of programming per evening, which makes us a very powerful advertising medium,’ says Paul van Schalkwyk, founder and managing director of One Africa.
Telkom Media will be launching its South African satellite offering in the second half of 2008. The One Africa TV channel will be carried as an additional channel on the Telkom Media bouquet. The Namibian channel currently consists of news, live soccer, talk-shows, soaps and movies.
“The partnership with One Africa TV is the first step to gaining access to local Namibian content for news and entertainment purposes’’ says Pieter van der Merwe, General Manager: Operations at Telkom Media’s Africa Division.
In September Telkom Media was granted a licence to provide satellite and cable subscription broadcasting services in South Africa, the first step in a broad strategy aimed at capturing African audiences across the continent.
“We are convinced that the lessons learnt from the One Africa experience and the synergies which would become available through this transaction, will be important to augment our strategies successfully in the rest of Africa,’ says Van der Merwe.