Satellite pay-TV challenger TopTV, owned by On Digital Media, has launched a prepaid voucher service, saying it’s one of only a few broadcasters worldwide to offer subscription television on this basis.
TopTV interim CEO Eddie Mbalo says offering access to the platform on a prepaid basis should have a “significant and positive impact” on subscriber growth. The broadcaster has 165 000 active subscribers compared to about 340 000 decoders sold.
Initially, TopTV prepaid vouchers will be available at major retail outlets in two price and channel package options: a Variety package at R109 for a 30-day period from activation and an Ultimate package for R279 and also lasting 30 days. A R10 administration and distribution fee is included in the price and goes to retailers selling the vouchers.
“The service will free up our call centre, and customers will no longer need to use their airtime to make that call to get connected to TopTV as the prepaid systems are almost completely automated,” says chief operating officer Kgomotso Lekola. There is also no reconnection fee for subscribers whose subscriptions have lapsed.
Users can upgrade from the Variety to the Ultimate package at any time during a 30-day cycle, with immediate activation. The remaining credit days on the Variety voucher will be automatically reinstated at the end of the 30-day upgrade period. However, should a user wish to downgrade the package, this can only take place at the end of the 30-day voucher period, TopTV explains.
Mbalo says the launch of the prepaid product forms part of a broader turnaround strategy at TopTV meant to grow its subscriber base and reduce churn.
“The past six months has seen a great deal of consultation with our stakeholders, interaction with our subscribers, interrogation and behind-the-scenes work as we have examined every area of the business to assess what is working and what needs more attention,” he says. “We have presented a turnaround strategy to the board and shareholders and are currently in that turnaround phase.” — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media