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TELEVISION PLATFORM OpenViewHD WEIGHS ON on eMEDIA

The free digital satellite platform doubles its set-top boxes activations

OpenViewHD, which provides free digital satellite TV channels, has more than doubled its set-top boxes activations to 778,160 in the year to March.

The platform, which is owned by listed media group eMedia, offers a variety of entertainment channels and lifestyle programmes with no monthly fee. However, eMedia said it had incurred losses of R307.1m from the continued investment in the platform.

eMedia derives little revenue from OpenView HD, but is confident that the improvement in the take-up of the service and new content agreements may attract more revenue.

The group, which also owns e.tv, increased revenue by 7% to R2.6bn for the year to March, primarily driven by a 9% increase in advertising revenue, which was R1.5bn at the end of the financial year.

eMedia said e.tv had shown an improvement in market share due to its shift to include “high-end” international series and movies and recent deals concluded with Warner, Disney, Sony and CBS.

“This has assisted the broadcaster in clawing back and maintaining the market share that had been lost previously,” eMedia said. However, this resulted in an 8% increase in programming costs, ending the year on R603.5m.

eMedia’s other subsidiaries including Sasani Africa, Silverline 360 and Strika Entertainment had performed satisfactorily for the year, the group said.

During the year, eMedia sold a number of assets and properties as part of its strategy to dispose of noncore and nonperforming businesses. It is in talks to sell TV station e.Botswana.

Source: Business Day – Thabiso Mochiko