Pay-TV licensee Super 5 Media has finally admitted publicly that it is facing big problems. But newly appointed director Muhammad Lockhat says the company is still working to get a pay-TV product to market, despite it recently retrenching all of its employees. It was recently granted another extension by industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), allowing it until February 2011 to launch a service.
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The apparent collapse of pay-TV operator Super 5 Media is unfortunate. It means less chance of the kind of rivalry that fosters innovation and drives down prices. At the top end of the market, however, competition to DStv may come from a less obvious source. Super 5 Media, formerly known as Telkom Media, was cursed almost from the start. When Telkom, under former CEO Reuben September, decided to end its investment, the writing was already on the wall.
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has received a written assurance from pay-TV licensee Super 5 Media that it is still in operation. “We received a communiqué from Super 5 Media a week before last clarifying its position in relation to recent press reports,” says Icasa spokesman, Paseka Maleka.
Pay-TV operator Super 5 Media on Tuesday retrenched all of its remaining employees, more than 40 people in all, and is now facing the prospect of liquidation if it isn’t able to pay one of its biggest creditors by the end of the week. TechCentral, which last week broke the news of the problems at the company, has now learnt Super 5 Media is facing a claim of as much as R25m from Rothschild, an international investment advisory company.