Broadcaster MultiChoice is again expanding its high-definition (HD) portfolio, with plans to launch an HD movie channel on 1 October, TechCentral has learnt.
The channel, to be called M-Net Movies 1 HD, will join the four HD channels MultiChoice has already launched on its DStv Premium bouquet. It will also complement the two standard-definition channels already offered on DStv, M-Net Movies 1 and 2.
A MultiChoice spokesman wasn’t immediately able to comment on the plan to launch the new channel. An advertisement in the September edition of lowbrow men’s magazine FHM (see image) — which went on sale this week despite the fact that it’s not even August yet — appears to have given the game away before the company could get its public relations ducks in a row.
Other HD channels offered by the broadcaster are M-Net HD (essentially an HD version of its popular M-Net entertainment channel), SuperSport HD1 (its principal sports channel), SuperSport HD2 (launching on 13 August to show mainly English Premier League football) and Discovery HD Showcase (documentaries).
The channels are only available to subscribers with HD personal video recorder (PVR) decoders. Subscribers must also pay for the top-end DStv bouquet, which costs R529/month, plus a PVR access fee of R65/month.
The launch of an HD movie channel in October will come five months after MultiChoice got its first direct competitor in the pay-TV market in the form of On Digital Media’s TopTV.
TopTV is understood to have sold more than 100 000 decoders since it was launched in May. TopTV, which does not target the top end of the market, has no HD channels and On Digital Media says it has no immediate plans to introduce any. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral