Telkom Media has announced that it has been issued a pay-TV licence by the industry regulator ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa). The licence allows Telkom Media to operate a commercial subscription television broadcasting service. Earlier in July, On Digital Media was also granted a pay-TV licence by ICASA.
The initial strategy of parent company Telkom was to plough R7-billion into Telkom Media, its new broadcasting arm. Then in March this year Telkom announced that is was reducing its funding significantly in Telkom Media.
In response to ICASA granting Telkom Media a pay-TV licence, Mandla Ngcobo, CEO of Telkom Media said: “Our business plan consists of a dual platform, multi-technology service that exploits the full range of convergent technologies, including IP, and will offer consumers a competitively priced spectrum of entertainment and interactive services through a single service provider.’
According to Ngcobo the award of a subscription pay-TV licence to Telkom Media will extend competition and offer South African TV consumers more choice at attractive prices.
“We look forward to providing inspiring, dynamic and refreshingly different programming for our subscribers,’ he said.
On the question of Telkom’s announced intention to sell part of its shareholding in Telkom Media, Ngcobo indicated that he could not comment at this stage and would await Telkom to make any announcement in this regard, however indications were positive.
According to insider reports, more than R300-million-worth of content contracts are on hold after Telkom announced its reduction in capital investment.