Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BREAKING. StarSat set to add StarSports and StarSports 2 as brand-new sports channels.

TV with Thinus can reveal that On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes South Africa running the StarSat satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa is set to add two new sports channels, StarSports and StarSports 2 to its channel line-up, possibly as soon as Friday 19 July.

The move will help to bolster StarSat's tepid sports offering to existing and potential StarSat subscribers.

StarSports 2 has already been tested on StarSat's channel 423.

The lack of sports content and quality sports content, and non-premium sports channels has hampered the attractiveness of ODM TopTV, relaunched as StarSat at the end of 2013, since TopTV launched in May 2010.

Then, ODM promised to launch TopSport as one of TopTV's channels as well as a 24-hour TV news channel, but ODM backtracked before the launch and said the news channel would no longer be happening, and the TopSport channel later.

The self-compiled sports channel never materialised and ODM never acquired sports rights for other channels like its Top One channel.

Although ODM added channels like Setanta Africa, FuelTV, Setanta Action, Extreme Sports, Euro Sport News and others to TopTV and later StarSat, it also lost channels like Manchester United's fan channel, MUTV, and remained unable the past four years to come up with a strong sports, or sports channel offering.

StarSports and StarSports 2 could now signal the start of the first real effort by ODM and its Chinese content and investment partner, StarTimes South Africa, to produce and funnel real sports content and coverage to StarSat subscribers in South Africa.

StarSat is apparently set to add StarSports and StarSports 2 as self compiled TV channels possibly as early as this Friday, 19 July. It's not clear which StarSat bouquets would get this channel or channels, or what the type of content would be.

StarSat, asked on Tuesday about StarSports and StarSports 2, what content would be carried, and whether the channels would be added by 19 July, declined to give answers to specific questions and said the pay-TV operator is not in a position to respond.