South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) sports fans have been asking for a sports channel for many year, finally their prayers have been answered.
The national broadcaster will be launching a stand alone sports channel in the coming few months including other new channels. This comes after eMedia Investments, the parent company of Openview, a satellite tv station and SABC have announced a new distribution agreement that will enhance both companies in the free-to-air category of television broadcasting.
Through this agreement, the SABC is officially entering the free-to-air satellite market which will supplement its channels on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and streaming platforms.
According to news reports, in addition to carrying SABC 1, 2 and 3, Openview will carry three additional television channels from the SABC and all its 19 radio channels including the biggest South African radio brands – Ukhozi FM, Metro FM, Lesedi and Umhlobo Wenene. This enables previously geographically restricted FM radio channels to be received throughout the country via digital broadcasting on a free-to-air basis.
This agreement deal sounds like a win win situation for both parties, Openview add more content on their platforms and on the other hand SABC get more distributions for its tv channels and radio stations.
eMedia Investments COO, Antonio Lee, stated, “this is an exciting development for both the SABC and ourselves. The agreement ushers in a new level of collaboration between a private free-to-air satellite platform and public free-to-air broadcast services. There is no doubt it will boost the offering of Openview and will extend the SABC’s audience reach. We can now offer our Openview audience additional quality content and access to digital broadcast radio in the widest variety of languages possible in South Africa. We hope this is the start of a stronger and more fruitful relationship between Openview and the SABC”.
“This agreement enables the SABC to grow its channel offering and reach into the digital broadcasting space with three additional HD television channels. The first channel to be launched will be the SABC Sports Channel and will be distributed simultaneously across Openview, DTT, Telkom One and other streaming platforms. This collaboration will enable the SABC to optimally exploit its rich sport content rights and leverage the Openview reach to provide an improved integrated sport value proposition for our advertising clients across platforms. The agreement also enhances the distribution of SABC radio stations to create an increased value proposition for our radio advertising inventory. The other two TV channels, to be announced within the next three months, will leverage extensive SABC content and archived material,” conclude the SABC’s COO, Ian Plaatjes.