There's been no announcement to the press, and StarSat and its PR agency Burson-Marsteller South Africa have not yet responded to a media enquiry about why Fashion TV is being removed, for how long, and what StarSat's sudden satellite capacity problem means.
StarSat subscribers were sent an on-screen message, simply saying "Fashion TV will be suspended for a brief period due to satellite capacity. It will be re-introduced once these issues are resolved".
StarSat didn't give a date, nor is explaining what the issues are and why there isn't sufficient satellite capacity. Fashion TV is the first TV channel going dark on StarSat in 2015.
Fashion TV (DStv 178), an international channel focusing on style and fashion founded by Michel Adam Lisowski, is still available on MultiChoice's DStv. StarSat continues to carry a second fashion channel, Fashion One (StarSat 283) created by Michael Gleissner.
StarSat, still in business rescue, has so far failed to add further high definition (HD) channels beyond its existing two, roll out a PVR to make digital recordings possible, or to significantly broaden its set of general entertainment channels in 2014 - a big driver of subscriber uptake in pay-TV services.
Meanwhile StarSat continues to devote resources to its court battle to keeps its controversial set of pornographic TV channels on the air.
StarSat subscribers complain and remain vocal about the operator's "bad" call centre, the lack of HD channels, sound and audio problems, TV channels that freeze up, and channels inexplicably switching to other languages without dubbing or subtitles.