ODM plans to launch cheaper Pay TV

2010-01-16 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Pay television operator On Digital Media (ODM) has revealed details of the service it plans to launch in South Africa in May.

In an exclusive interview with Fin24.com, it was revealed that pay-television channel bouquets will be priced from R99 to R249 a month.

ODM will provide a range of both local and international television channels, including Fox Entertainment and MGM.

Said CEO of ODM Vino Govender, “We’re acquiring a lot of stuff internationally and creating seven local channels that will broadcast both locally produced and international content.”

Govender said that ODM would not compete head-to-head with Multichoice’s DStv service.

“We’re creating a more affordable product in the second pay-TV window. We buy the content post-Multichoice before it goes free-to-air and, therefore, offer it at a much better price,” said Govender.

“Our product is designed to offer more choice and affordability.”

Packages will begin at R99 for a basic package with 30 channels, and range up to R249 for a premium package with a full range of channels grouped by genre.

ODM is in discussions with Multichoice to explore the possibility of acquiring content from DStv.

Customers will be able to use existing DStv satellite dishes with the ODM service, but the dish will have to be repositioned.

Govender said that ODM’s market research suggests that many Multichoice subscribers will look at purchasing an ODM decoder and service to compliment DStv and gain access to channels that are not available from the Multichoice service.

“There are roughly 10,5 million television households in South Africa. Multichoice has chewed up about two million of those — so there are about eight million that cannot afford pay-TV at the moment.

“Our main mission is to take Pay TV to the middle income group, who haven’t been able to access multi-channel environments before,” added Govender.

While ODM will not provide rugby, cricket or PSL football at launch, Govender explained that ODM would gain rights to niche sporting content such as martial arts.

Govender said that ODM would also pursue rights for other sports as the contracts with Multichoice expire.

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