Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TopTV on ending Top Junior and Movies +24: 'Unavoidable exercise' but no discount scheme as TopTV plans new channels structure.

When TopTV announced the news that the struggling South African satellite pay-TV operator is immediately losing two more TV channels, Top Junior as well as Top Movies +24 on its bouquet, I asked the Woodmead based pay-TV operation the following questions, prompted by the press statement On Digital Media (ODM) issued.

Answers were not forthcoming yesterday, but I just received these answers from Ian Woodrow, TopTV's vice president for channels.

How much money will TopTV save by not running these in-house channels anymore?
Ian Woodrow: TopTV is not obliged to publicise financial details of this nature. It is unlikely that any private company would be prepared to place such information in the public domain. The rationale for this decision was not founded on cost considerations.

What does "new channel structure" mean?
Ian Woodrow: The collective channel offering which TopTV will market once it moves out of its business rescue period. This is expected within the next few weeks although a fixed date is not available as there is a degree of uncertainty regarding the timing of the process. Details as to the actual channels is also not available at this stage.

With the loss of the channels, does it affect the TopTV subscriber fees, for instance, if TopTV subscribers have been paying a set amount for a certain amount of television content, and that TV content is made less, do subscribers still have to pay the same amount of money monthly, or will it be adjusted?
Ian Woodrow: It is difficult to consider an adjustment as the affected period is expected to be short in duration. Too short to allow for the practical implementation of a discounted scheme. The channels selected for this unavoidable exercise were chosen on their relative popularity so as to minimise the subscriber loss.

When did TopTV decide to discontinue these channels?
Ian Woodrow: TopTV has communicated this decision as soon as possible. There has not been a delay between the decision itself and the communication thereof.