MultiChoice to launch GOtv at R99/month - TechCentral

MultiChoice to launch GOtv at R99/month


MultiChoice will this week unveil its new digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform in South Africa, becoming the first broadcaster in South Africa to launch commercial DTT services.

Using the GOtv name — the same branding it’s using for its DTT offerings elsewhere in Africa — the platform will be available for R99/month for a “Value” bouquet, a spokesman for MultiChoice confirmed on Monday.

MultiChoice has already launched GOtv in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

GOtv Value will offer 12 channels at launch in South Africa — four general entertainment channels, two music channels, two children’s channels, as well as sports, lifestyle and culture, and religious channels.

Entertainment channels include M-Net Movies Zone, Africa Magic Epic, Mzansi Wethu, Mzansi Bioskop and TLC Entertainment. The sports channels are SuperSport Blitz and SuperSport Select, while NickToons and Disney Junior are the channels aimed at young viewers.

MultiChoice will also offer a R45/quarter “Lite” bouquet with one religious channel and one music channel.

The broadcaster has published a coverage map showing where the GOtv signal is available.

GOtv launch coverage map

GOtv launch coverage map

Decoders will cost R699 and will be available through a wide range of retailers. DTT antennae, called “GOtenna”, will be sold separately, at R299.

The company is expected to provide more details about the GOtv launch at a media event on Wednesday.  — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media


  1. Don’t do me any favors. For R99 pm you could easily include your Super sport channels 1 & 2. Else shove up your proverbial.

  2. William Stucke on

    Well, at least somebody’s taking DTT seriously. The low coverage, of course, is because this is using MUX2, which is shared between MultiChoice and etv.
    Neither wants to pay Sentech too much, and they have different existing target areas, so the coverage of MUX 2 is only about 50% of the population.

  3. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    The last I checked, SABC had been allocated sufficient capacity to have 18 channels;

    Let’s see if my arithmetic is any good; 18 channels – 5 channels (that are available from SABC); that seemingly would still leave room for a bonus channel with this GOtv Value bouquet offering…

    …so when they do decide to take DTT seriously; what will be happening to this extra capacity given that there also isn’t enough money for the freebie STBs let alone providing content for 13 extra channel offerings.

  4. William Stucke on

    There are 3 MUXes in the GE06 (Geneva 2006) terrestrial broadcast band plan that was accepted by Region 1 ITU members. The fact that it’s a complete disaster is besides the point – but did take up quite a lot of my effort to fix, successfully I believe – in my last 3 years or so at ICASA.

    MUX1 = SABC + odds & sods (OK, regional and test broadcasters)
    MUX2 = MultiChoice + etv + odds & sods
    MUX3 = future provision for new entrants: FTA and subscription + O&S
    Every broadcaster argued vociferously for the maximum possible capacity and had long bullshit arguments about how they were being done down by all that spectrum they were “giving away” – but never paid a cent for.
    In the real world, there are a fixed number of eyeballs in RSA (and more and more of them want VoD). That means, in effect, that there’s a limited amount of advertising available to support the channels broadcast. Increasing the number of channels increases the cost, but does _NOT_ increase the revenue.
    Most of the broadcasters seem to be too dim to realise this – or at least only very slowly.
    So sad. Please don’t ask me why we didn’t go DTH in the first place …

  5. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Please don’t ask me why we didn’t go DTH in the first place …

    🙂 Won’t ask that… but what I do want to know is why there wasn’t two distinctly different licenses; one for MUX operator and another for services…???

    These guys are just going to horde valuable capacity at the expense of new more innovative entrants. We should’ve just had a Sentech being a MUX operator; and licensed services being allocated capacity for their available channel offerings.

  6. Who really gives a crap! The sun is setting on these extortionist! Offering regurgitated material

  7. William Stucke on

    In the early days, there was much bickering about who’s going to be the “Multiplex Manager”. Then they woke up and asked their engineers what’s involved in “managing a multiplex”. The answer is: “Not a lot”.
    Plug your strings into the back of one of these, set a few parameters, and walk away.

  8. William Stucke on

    > These guys are just going to horde valuable capacity at the expense of new more innovative entrants

    A chap called Koenie Schutte came up with a model for what’s now called the “7 MUX Plan”. In essence, this takes the 28 DTT frequency channels and divides them into 4 groups (Four Colour Map Problem). A bit of fiddling later, we have all 28 channels assigned to specific transmitters, giving us eleven regions with seven Muxes in each regional. That’s 140 SD channels on a national basis or 35 HD channels nationally.

    Thanks to Yours Truly and some very hard work from some good chaps at ICASA, this is now coordinated with the SADC, ITU, and in particular, RSA’s six neighbouring countries.

    No one, so far, has the appetite to pay for that many transmitters across the country, but the potential is there. In practice, some of the unused MUXes will most likely be used on a regional, not national basis. That means that there’s even more spare. If there’s no shortage, it ceases to be “valuable” 😉

  9. William Stucke on

    If Duncan asks nicely – and especially if he crosses my palm with silver – I’ll complete an article on this and publish it for general edification 😉

  10. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    That may certainly be true but spectrum management is the main concern here; and when you allocate precious spectrum capacity to such greedy incumbents, they will never let go of it, even if they are unable to monetize it.

    Look at what ETV is doing on OVHD… they are just having channels for the sake of having channels; when even they, themselves – as well as the producers who are required to deliver the content in HD, don’t watch the crap they serve that’s taking up HD bandwidth.

    The same thing is going to be happening on DTT – if there would be a smart enough person at ICASA that would question why the allocated capacity is not being utilized; then the SABC will find some crap to fill the capacity with; and repeat all the content every 3 hours across all the crappy channels that they’ll come up – just like ETV is doing on OVHD.

    The licensing is not about the simplicity of running a MUX but ensuring that spectrum is not wasted on incompetents that will not be able to utilize it to the benefit of the public.

  11. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    That would be great…

    …this BDM dilema has been a never ending story with way too many people getting involved for the very wrong reasons;

    …and the more clarity that can be provided from knowledgeable person(s), then the better it will be for the public.

  12. William Stucke on

    The whole issue of licensing broadcast spectrum is an unresolved nightmare. The draft broadcast spectrum fees regulations have been published but never finalised.
    So, we currently have the unenviable situation where broadcasters have access to spectrum that they don’t pay for. What they do pay for is the number of Sentech (or Orbicom, or their own) transmitters that are “lit up” and actually transmitting the signal. So, using spectrum does cost broadcasters money, indirectly.
    However, it makes no difference at all how many programming (content) channels are broadcast in the 8 MHz frequency channel. The whole 8 MHz is transmitted anyway. Across the entire region (one of the four colours in my image below) and indeed across all 11 regions, unless it’s a “regional” channel like Soweto TV which is available across the whole Gauteng region. (And across the whole country on DTH)
    Having missed the boat in implementing spectrum fees for analogue broadcasting, it becomes harder (not impossible. Nothing is impossible, if you set your mind to it, other than where it counters physics!) to charge spectrum fees for DTT channels.
    Ah yes, Mr Broadcaster. You have 5 out of 20 channels in a MUX, which are statistically multiplexed among the other 15. That means your share is 5/20 of 8 MHz. On average. More if there’s lots of rapid colour changes and movement. Less if it’s a studio interview … Um, what about the engineering channels, the software reloads for STBs, the …?
    Plenty of room for wriggling and wasting everyone’s time on futile arguments to avoid paying some proportion of the R5,400,000 p.a. fee for 8 MHz of UHF national bandwidth.
    You could simply approximate it to a spectrum fee of R270,000 pa per SD channel. Which is small change compared to what Sentech is paid to transmit the whole mux anyway.

  13. William Stucke on

    > if there would be a smart enough person at ICASA that would question why the allocated capacity is not being utilized;

    The DTT regulations do cover this issue in 3(8), where any allocated channels unused after 36 months are forfeited, and in 3(9) any “digital incentive” (i.e. extra channels asked for) unused after 18 months are also forfeited.

  14. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    🙁 but it isn’t unused when it’s filled with crap content that no-one is watching… and that’s where the regulations fail;

    …because the guys that have been allocated the capacity won’t allow it to be forfeited; and can flight anything just to get around losing their allocation.

  15. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Plenty of room for wriggling and wasting everyone’s time on futile arguments to avoid paying some proportion of the R5,400,000 p.a. fee for 8 MHz of UHF national bandwidth.

    …and that is the reason why the subject of dynamic spectrum assignment is where we need to be moving to asap; how far is this??? or is it another matter that will take just as long as BDM?

  16. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>the Cape Town trial achieved several world firsts, and has led directly to the FCC changing their rules to follow our example 😉

    That’s certainly impressive!!

    …when I first met Brett who was at Google SA at the time he was very excited about TVWS and I know that it’s also something that Larry Page is very passionate about;

    …fingers crossed that it will be something that is realized soonest without delay; because it definitely looks like an area where SA can play a lead role in, rather than trying to take up a lead role in the regulation of OTT services.

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