Friday, December 18, 2015

After 2 years of existence,'s local eKasi+ channel picked up and added to StarTimes Media SA's StarSat pay-TV platform.

StarSat satellite pay-TV platform added's eKasi+ channel to its channel line-up from Thursday afternoon in a new carriage deal between and On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media SA.

Until now eKasi+ - a local high definition (HD) channel focused on black township lifestyle programming - was only available on Platco Digital's OpenView HD (OVHD) free-to-air satellite platform as one of the self-compiled channels from's digital channels offering.

eKasi+ has been broadcasting since October 2013 as part of OpenView HD and has now been added to the StarSat Special bouquet on channel 489.

It follows the loss of the BET channel that Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) yanked from StarSat at the end of November.

'We are constantly looking for channels that can add great value to our current programming and that is what we have found in the eKasi+ channel. There is an array of shows to satisfy different tastes," says Ian Woodrow, StarSat's head of content.

Ian Woodrow again promised more new channels for StarSat in the coming months although the struggling pay-TV service has so far failed to replace several lost channels like the FOX Movies channels from FOX International in July, Discovery Networks International's TLC and others.

"The eKasi+ channel has established a good audience base on OpenView HD. The channel has a strong local appeal with some entertaining and original local content dominating the schedule," says Monde Twala, managing director for's channels.

"The move to make it available on another platform is simply to ensure broader reach based on the steady, growing popularity of the channel.OpenView HD is already reaching 300 000 homes and this extension will simply grow our base and ensure we reach as many South Africans as we can."