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Monday, August 1, 2022

eMedia Investments Set To Take On MultiChoice's DStv With The Launch Of Pay-TV Service In 2023

Poor South Africans would soon have affordable pay TV in their homes by 2023. That is if eMedia have it their way.

The move by eMedia comes as market incumbent
MultiChoice, with about 9-million subscribers in SA, has been under pressure from online entertainment offerings like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Significantly, eMedia’s advertising revenue stream on its OpenView platform has been threatened by a decision by MultiChoice not to renew the contract to carry four of its entertainment channels (eExtra, eMovies, eMovies Extra and eToonz) on certain DStv bouquets. The Competition Commission ruled against the interim relief sought by eMedia, and the matter is on appeal.

The pay-TV move might have been inspired by eMedia’s eVOD online entertainment channel launch in August last year.

Sherrif said the number of registered viewers to date had been encouraging, with almost 500,000 registered users in a year.

“The eOriginals offering on eVOD is the leading audience generator on eVOD, making the group bullish about investing a further R100m in local original content, which will be amortised across the group’s platforms and channels.”

The pay-TV move also follows a strong financial showing by eMedia, which boasts large investment firms Hosken Consolidated Investments and Remgro as its biggest shareholders.

In the year to end-March, eMedia racked up net profits of R420m off record revenue of R3.2bn. The group scored from a resurgence of television advertising revenue (following the easing of pandemic restrictions) on the back of a marked increase in its share of primetime audiences from 29.6% in March 2021 to 34.1% in March 2022.

Sherrif said this made eMedia SA’s biggest broadcaster in audience share in this category in SA.

He said the pay-TV thrust would not require a huge capital investment.

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