MultiChoice is moving to cement its position in South Africa’s pay-television industry, on Tuesday announcing that its SuperSport subsidiary plans to launch two new sports channels in high definition on the DStv platform.
SuperSport 5HD and SuperSport 6HD will be introduced in 23 July, the company said in a statement.
“With an increasing number of sporting events now available in HD, the addition of new channels will allow SuperSport to increase its capacity of live HD broadcasts,” it said.
SuperSport 5HD, on channel 215, will focus on motorsports, boxing, swimming and athletics and will also act as an overflow channel. SuperSport 6HD, on channel 216, will cater for international football leagues such as the German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A. The channel will complement existing football channels SS3HD and SS4HD, which showcase the Barclays Premier League and action from the PSL respectively.
Also going live on 23 July is SuperSport 8, on channel 208, which will cater for locally produced and sourced content such as the varsity athletics series and school sports.
TechCentral revealed in May that MultiChoice is facing a potential probe by South Africa’s competition authorities over its dominance of South African sports broadcasting. This is after On Digital Media, which owns DStv rival TopTV, accused the company of anticompetitive abuses.
In its complaint, On Digital Media accused MultiChoice and SuperSport of anticompetitive behaviour, which it said had made it difficult for it to offer a compelling alternative to DStv, particularly the DStv Compact bouquet, which targets the same black, middle-class market.
TopTV, which was launched three years ago, has struggled to make headway against DStv in the pay-TV market, and in October 2012 was placed into “business rescue” under the Companies Act. China’s StarTimes recently agreed to buy a 20% stake in On Digital Media as part of the business rescue proceedings.
The Competition Commission has not yet decided if it will launch a formal investigation based on On Digital Media’s complaint. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media