e.tv to launch video streamer eVOD

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Night two of the Saftas will air on Saturday on SABC's S3 and DStv's Mzansi Magic.
Night two of the Saftas will air on Saturday on SABC's S3 and DStv's Mzansi Magic.
Photo: Christina Reichl Photography
  • e.tv will launch its video streamer eVOD in July.
  • The service has now undergone a name change after it missed its planned launch date in October 2020.
  • eMedia said that South Africa's "television market is facing numerous technology and viewership challenges which will require the group to continually assess its strategic alternatives".

e.tv plans to finally launch its video streaming service, eVOD, in July this year. The service has now undergone a name change after it missed its planned launch date in October 2020 of what it originally planned to call Openview Plus.

If eMedia manages to launch eVOD in July, it will pip the South African public broadcaster to the post that is also furiously working on its own video streamer that the SABC plans to launch before the end of this year.

On Thursday, eMedia Holdings released its annual financial results for the year that ended 31 March 2021 and said: "The new financial year will also see the launch of the group's over-the-top (OTT) service eVOD in July 2021."

eMedia didn't specify any eVOD pricing or reveal any further details about its planned video streaming service and whether it would be using a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) model where users will have to pay to watch, or if it will go the advertiser-funded "freemium" route.

eMedia said that South Africa's "television market is facing numerous technology and viewership challenges which will require the group to continually assess its strategic alternatives".

The company recently launched its Openview Connect dongle as a new broadband internet service - something that will help to carry and funnel eVOD as a content service into viewers' internet connected homes.

The streaming service will join and compete with a crowded space of VOD services available in South Africa, including Netflix, MultiChoice's Showmax, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Acorn, Vodacom's Video Play, Telkom ONE, VIU and a few smaller services.

Some international services like Disney's Disney+, WarnerMedia's HBO Max, Discovery Inc.'s Discovery+ and ViacomCBS Networks' Paramount+ haven't yet launched in South Africa. BritBox, the joint 50/50 streaming venture between BBC Studios and ITV, plans to launch later this year.

eMedia originally planned to call its video streaming service Openview Plus as a content extension of its existing free-to-air, direct-to-home (DTH) satellite-TV service. Khalik Sherrif, eMedia Investments CEO, said in a CEO report in September 2020: "By October 2020 the group will launch its own over-the-top (OTT) offering called Openview Plus."

READ MORE | e.tv to launch streaming service Openview Plus


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