After four years of planning, On Digital Media (ODM) has finally played its hand. The first alternative pay-TV operator to MultiChoice’s DStv will offer up to 55 channels at launch across several bouquets.
The service, which will launch in May and which will be called TopTV, will cost between R99/month and R249/month. TopTV is targeted principally at customers in the LSM5-8 bands, below the LSM9-10 market that has already been sewn up by MultiChoice’s premium DStv bouquet. ODM’s product is, however, targeted directly at MultiChoice’s lower-priced DStv Compact offering.
In 2007, ODM was one of four consortia to be awarded a subscription broadcasting licence by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). The company is the first of these licensees to launch services. Its rival, Super 5 Media (formerly Telkom Media), is expected to follow suit later this year.
ODM CEO Vino Govender says TopTV will offer a basic package of 24 channels for R99/month. Consumers will then be able to add bouquets on top of that. If they choose to take all the bouquets, the cost is R249/month, he says. There are seven subscription options in all.
The pay-TV service will offer a range of channels, including movies, general entertainment, music and religious programming. A local news service is also on the cards for later this year, but won’t be available at launch.
“ODM has secured programming and channels from household names such as Fox, Warner, Disney, CBS and Discovery, to name a few,” the company says. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
- See also: TopTV: the full list of channels