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KAGISO MEDIA IN FIRST TV VENTURE

The media group has launched its first television channel, on Platco Digital’s OpenView HD platform.

Kagiso Media, the fast-growing media group that has radio and Internet assets and which is bidding for a pay-television licence, has launched its first TV venture, a free-to-air channel called Glow TV on the OpenView HD satellite bouquet.

OpenView HD is a new free-to-air direct-to-home satellite service offered on a platform operated by Platco Digital, a sister company of e.tv.

In a statement, recently appointed Kagiso Media CEO Mark Harris says the launch of Glow TV is the “next logical step” for the company.

Kagiso Media already has significant assets in the radio business, owning both Jacaranda in Gauteng and East Coast Radio in Durban. It also owns Howzit MSN, a consumer news and Web portal it operates in partnership with Microsoft.

Glow TV is the result of cooperation between Kagiso Media and Nolava Television, which is run by its CEO, AB Moosa, Kagiso Media says. Nolava has the necessary relationships with content providers, it adds.

As a free-to-air channel, the “Eastern inspired” Glow TV will rely on advertising to be profitable. Kagiso promises “high production values, universal storylines and compelling themes sourced from India, the UK, the US and Brazil, with South African content expected to be featured from March 2014”. Subsidiary Urban Brew Studios will produce original local content for the channel.

The channel will be offered in English, Hindi, Portuguese and various Indian dialects. When programming is in any language other than English, the programme will be either dubbed into English or have English subtitles. Programming will include movies, food and lifestyle, soap operas, comedy, travel, variety and reality shows.

Glow TV’s line up will feature the hit comedy The Kumars at No 42, Koffee with Karan, a talk show where the host interviews various major movie celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, a cooking show with world chef Sanjeev Kapoor, as well as soap operas, movies, and reality and game shows.

Rather than duplicating and competing with existing channels, our strategy is to grow new marketplaces by appealing to under-served communities,” says Omar Essack, who heads the broadcasting unit at Kagiso Media. He says the company will work with other platform providers across Africa in delivering future television channels.

At the same time, the company is applying for a licence from broadcasting regulator Icasa to offer a pay-television platform aimed at lower- and middle-income households as part of a bouquet that will cost consumers less than R240/month. Kagiso Media wants to offer a bouquet of channels to this market when the country eventually migrates from analogue to digital terrestrial television.

Source: NewsCentral Media – Tech Central – Duncan McLeod