South African Regulator Gives Siyaya A Nod

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Siyaya, an eventual pay-television broadcaster in south Africa has gotten a nod from Icasa to begin business.

The entrant pay-TV broadcaster will offer a low-cost bouquet using the digital terrestrial television transmission. Subscribers will see as much football because earlier in august, Siyaya had secured a R1 billion deal for the rights to broadcast Bafana Bafana football games as from May next year.

The broadcaster was one of five parties granted provisional licences by Icasa in April. Siyaya TV has satisfied the requirements to be issued with an individual commercial subscription broadcasting service licence.

Apart from traditional linear broadcasting, the company intends introducing Internet TV and “over the top” (OTT) products to the lower ends of the market, it said. “OTT is one the strategies by Siyaya to enhance its service offering to those in lower living standards measures.”

Siyaya is one of a number of new licensees that hope to take advantage of communications regulator Icasa’s plans to open up the airwaves to more competition once the country switches over to digital transmission of television broadcasts.

The 100 percent black-owned Siyaya’s main shareholder is the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe in North West. It has said previously it wants to offer local content, with a strong focus on football, for a monthly subscription fee starting at just R70/month.

Siyaya told Icasa that Soccer will be a key component of its offering, together with video-on-demand content and facilities for storing 100 hours of content on a personal video recorder. It intends targeting black South Africans with an average age of 30 and a monthly household income of between R4 000 and R10 000, a potential market of a million viewers, it said.

The broadcaster said it plans to provide more details about its launch plans in January.

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