Africa's premium TV for less
2 April 2012
The Africa Report - March 30, 2012
In a previous column, I commented on the rapid changes in direct satellite-to-home TV reception across Africa, thanks to the launch of a number of packages, most of them free of charge. A wind of change is also blowing through the very exclusive world of premium TV "bouquets".
Until May 1, 2010, the only players in African Pay-TV were the Canal+ group, providing Canalsat to French speakers, and DSTV (also called Multichoice), to Portuguese and English speaking viewers.
As always, being the only player on the market allows companies to set astronomical monthly subscription fees. In the case of Canalsat and DSTV the rates ranged between 50 and 80 USD.
But a new player is now in town. Launched in 2010, as a result of the arrival of the Astra 4 satellite, located at 4,8 degrees east in the sky, the new top player has turned the market around, dramatically. Its powerful transponders allow easy reception in the entire southern part of Africa plus the Ghana-Nigeria region with a single beam.