Wednesday, May 1, 2013

TopTV workers very scared of the Chinese; with StarTimes bail-out workers fear job losses and bad Chinese TV content.

Happy Workers' Day - but not for those working at TopTV: TopTV workers at the beleaguered South African pay-TV service are very scared of the Chinese and fear lay-offs, job losses and bad Chinese TV content now that China's StarTimes pay-TV operator has been given approval to implement its business rescue plan by TopTV's shareholders and pump millions into the loss-making operation.

TopTV's workers is accusing StarTimes of "bullying" tactics. StarTimes was already brutal in its scathing assessment of TopTV and the mistake riddled pay-TV operator's numerous problems from StarTimes' point of view, including "inexperienced" TopTV management, "high remuneration", a "general lack of business management experience" and "high operation cost".

As part of the agreed upon business rescue deal, StarTimes warns in the business rescue plan that job losses may occur as part of the radical restructuring of On Digital Media's (ODM) suffering pay-TV operation.

StarTimes now gets the right to install its own CEO at TopTV - a CEO who have been a previous employee of StarTimes. StarTimes said it will "implement a complete restructuring of TopTV's affairs and business and debt".

Advocate Musa Sishange, TopTV'semployee representative, told the shareholders and creditors meeting yesterday that TopTV workers are extremely concerned about their jobs and the decision which will be made regarding television programming due to the Chinese StarTimes' business plan.

TopTV workers feel that TopTV's television content will be diluted by the Chinese with generic programming as opposed to locally developed content.

TopTV is lacking in local content but the South African regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) last week announced that TopTV is approved to start a new separate porn bouquet with a trio of sex channels provided by Playboy UK.