Super 5 gets another reprieve - TechCentral

Super 5 gets another reprieve

Pay-TV licensee Super 5 Media has been granted another extension by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to launch a service.

Icasa spokesman Paseka Maleka says the regulator has granted the company another six months to get a service off the ground.

This is the second sign of life Icasa has received from a nearly defunct Super 5 Media. The first was a letter from the company assuring Icasa it was still in operation.

Maleka says the broadcaster is still hoping to receive an electronic communications network service (ECNS) licence before it brings a product to market.

Super 5 Media has long been fighting for an ECNS licence. It has argued that it would rather build its own broadcast network than rely on state-owned Sentech.

Maleka says Icasa is still reviewing Super 5 Media’s application for the licence. There is also an application for a mobile TV licence.

This is not the first time the company has received an extension. It was supposed to have a product on air at the beginning of this month.

Earlier this year TechCentral broke the news that Super 5 Media had retrenched all of its remaining employees, more than 40 people in all, and was facing the prospect of liquidation.

Icon Insolvency Practitioners, one of the bidders for the liquidation of the business has confirmed that a liquidation application for Super 5 Media has been submitted.

Icon would not say who had lodged the application. However, it’s likely to have been international investment advisory company Rothschilds, which is allegedly owed R25m by Super 5 Media relating to the sale of the business by Telkom to Shenzhen Media SA.

Shenzhen is led by the colourful and controversial Chinese businessman Philip Xiao, who had promised to provide more details about what’s happening at the company. However, repeated calls to him have gone unanswered. Director Tian du Pisanie has also disappeared.

Super 5 Media, formerly known as Telkom Media, was once regarded as the strongest potential competitor to incumbent pay-TV broadcaster MultiChoice with its DStv service. Its prospects have since dwindled as it missed repeated deadlines to launch a product.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral

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