Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings, which has applied to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for a satellite pay-TV licence, wants to offer customisable bouquets of channels and content targeting the the gay, lesbian and transgender communities.
Director Mia Groenewald says CloseTV has approached the “growing need for choice in the pay-TV market from the consumers’ perspective and developed niche audience-specific bundles that won’t be made up of rehashed bouquets of older or lower-quality programming, but rather high-quality international and local programming”.
CloseTV intends to allow consumers to opt to pay only for the channels that are of interest to them. A “pay-per-view” demand-based service will also be available to subscribers.
During its launch phase, CloseTV wants to offer the country’s first pay-TV bouquet for what it calls the “dynamic and thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community”. In order to do so, it has set up “exclusive partnerships” with global content providers such as OutTV group, Logo TV and Out in Africa Film Festival.
“Our research shows that there are approximately 6m LGBTQIA lifestyle consumers in South Africa, with virtually no television-based programming,” Groenewald says.
In order to complement “non-LGBTQIA interests”, it will also offer “independent and art house movies, cinema nouveau, foreign language films, cultural programming, travel and fashion events”.
Furthermore, the prospective broadcaster says it has already identified other “niche audience groups” that will form a “critical part of its growth and service extension strategies”.
Icasa is this week holding public hearings into the licensing of new pay-TV broadcasters in South Africa. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media