Monday, December 25, 2017

Here's the linear TV channels available at launch on Cell C's streaming video-on-demand service, black, and their channel numbers.

Here's the names of the TV channels available at launch on Cell C's streaming subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, black, and their channel numbers.

Cell C recently launched black in South Africa that offers viewers access to several linear TV channels (meaning traditional TV channels that run 24 hours per day); including channels spanning the genres of entertainment, lifestyle, documentary, reality, film, kids, sports, news, music and religion.

FOX                                        201
FOX Life                                202
Sony Channel                          203
Sony Max                                204
African Movie Channel          205
African Series Channel           206
CBS Reality                            207
Scoop Network HD                208
TCM                                        241
True Movies                            242
Nina TV                                  250

Fine Living HD                       251
Fashion One HD                     252
Fashion Box                            253
FTV                                         254
Travel Channel                        255     
National Geographic               261
Nat Geo WILD                        262
RT DOC HD                           264

Boing                                      301
Toonami Africa HD                302
POP                                         303
JimJam                                    304
Fix & Foxi                               305
Baby TV                                 306
Duck TV                                 307

FOX Sports 1                          401
FOX Sports 2                          402
MUTV (Man United) HD      403
Chelsea TV HD                      404
LFC TV HD                           405
Barca TV HD                          406
Real Madrid HD                     407

Trace Sports Stars HD            410
Extreme Sports                       411
E Sports TV HD                     412
Game Toonbox HD                413
Motorvision HD                      414
Nautical HD                            415
Outdoor Channel HD             416
Sportskool                               417
Havoc TV HD                        418
Fightbox HD                           419
Fast and Funbox HD              420

BBC World News                  501
FOX News                              502
Al Jazeera                                503
Euronews HD                         504
Africanews                              505
Deutsche Welle                       506
France24                                 507
TRT World HD                       508
Russia Today HD                   509
Bloomberg HD                       511
CNBC Africa                          512

Kiss                                         601
Box Hits                                  602
Trace Gospel                           603
Trace Africa                            604
Box Africa                              605
360 Tunebox                           606
Magic                                      607
Kerrang                                   608

GOD TV                                 702
Inspiration TV                         703

Firstly, the list of linear TV channels for this Cell C black service is out of the box very impressive for the service and at the price point (of course yes, the customer also still has to pay separately for actual data).

But the product, taken at face value, on the offering of its number of linear TV channels, is surprising, and surprisingly good and above average for a pay-TV service.

Cell C's black has different subscription services to get access to the linear TV channels, each coming with slightly different access to a different number of these TV channels.

Here's the very bad thing about Cell C's black linear TV channels: There are too many different plans, and these plans are too difficult to understand, and doesn't tell upfront in enough detail exactly what you get for it.

The BINGE Premium, abbreviated as BTV Premium, costs R279 per month and gives access to 60 of these TV channels (and include access to on-demand shows).

The BINGE Access, abbreviated as BTV Access, costs R89 per month. I was unable to figure out, despite research, how many TV channel you actually get access to.

Then there's several other "monthly recurring" TV packages.

Monthly BTV Premium (R189) and Monthly BTV Access (R69) for instance are available but once again Cell C black isn't telling potential consumers how many actual TV channels you get for these packages.

These "monthly recurring" packages also likely mean you're locked into some long(er) term fixed contract. We also don't know that since Cell C black doesn't spell it out clearly.

The soccer club channels costs extra and that's quite obvious.

Also not spelled out and extremely bad of Cell C black and of FOX Networks Group Africa (FNG Africa) are how all the FOX channels also require yet another separate subscription payment.

Even if you pay for the most expensive BINGE Premium Plus package, a very nasty surprise awaits: You will have to pay yet another R99 per month if you want to actually get any of the FOX supplied channels unblocked.

FOX, FOX Life, Baby TV, National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, Baby TV, FOX News, FOX Sports and FOX Sports 2 will remain unblocked even if you're on BINGE Premium Plus - the most expensive package on Cell C's black, unless you pay yet another R100.

Why does Cell C black have a "BINGE Premium Plus" when stuff like the FOX channels are excluded? it means it's neither "binge", nor really "premium", and definitely not "plus".

The only "plus" is the "plus R100" out of your wallet that you have to cough up if you want to have the FOX supplied linear channels unblocked.

Both Cell C and the South African media supposed to be covering this, have done and are doing an extremely bad job of actually communicating about the linear TV channels available on Cell C's black and what these channels are.

It is impressive however that Cell C black has such a lot of channels (keep in mind that none of the FOX channels are actually usable without an additional payment).

It's equally impressive how Cell C's black is offering so many of these TV channels in high definition (HD) at launch, and that all of these are linear TV channels that are streamed through the internet.

(Even) MultiChoice doesn't offer some of these channels in HD on DStv, which means that from launch, Cell C's black is doing some things better than DStv when it comes to linear TV channels and stream watching.