Super 5 Media, formerly known as Telkom Media, still wants to offer pay-TV services to South Africans, more than three years after first being licensed, and has requested yet another extension from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to launch its products.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette on 28 December, Icasa says it has received applications from Super 5 Media to extend the launch date of its “individual subscription television broadcasting service operations”.
Super 5 Media has had a troubled birth after Telkom, its former controlling shareholder, pulled the plug on plans to launch Telkom Media in competition with pay-TV operator MultiChoice, which owns DStv, despite having invested hundreds of millions of rand in the operation. Telkom sold the business to Shenzhen Media SA, a consortium controlled by Imbani Media.
Of a handful of companies that applied to launch pay-TV products, only one, On Digital Media, has done so — in the form of the TopTV satellite subscription service.
Super 5 Media first received a broadcasting licence from Icasa on 4 August 2008. It was granted a network licence two years later. However, it has since retrenched almost all of its staff.
Now the Centurion-based company wants Icasa to give it another six months to launch subscription television products and wants a 12-month extension to its network licence, which will allow it to build its own infrastructure.
Icasa has given interested parties until 28 January to lodge written representations and comments on Super 5 Media’s request for an extension to the two licences. The authority says it may also conduct public hearings into the matter.
Super 5 Media’s Xin Zhang could not immediately be reached on his mobile phone for comment. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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