Monday, September 2, 2019

'Enough of this trash!': StarSat subscribers in South Africa fuming, furious and confused over chopping, changing and dropping of TV channels after latest bouquet changes from China's StarTimes pay-TV service.

"Enough of this trash." So say StarSat subscribers in South Africa who are fuming, along with subscribers in other Southern African countries who are furious and confused over the chopping, changing and dropping of TV channels after the latest round of unexplained bouquet changes from China's StarTimes pay-TV service.

StarTimes and StarSat altered its packages since 30 August 2019 which also notably co-incided with The Walt Disney Company and FOX Networks rebranding its FOX Sports channels in Africa to ESPN with the promise that two ESPN channels would be available on StarSat.

However it's not, causing huge embarrassment to Disney Africa, ESPN Africa, and FOX Africa who kept touting the countdown to ESPN replacing FOX Sports and being on StarSat and Cell C black, leading to public anger and outrage under StarSat subscribers asking what's going on and saying they have once again been duped by false promises and marketing.

StarSat held no press conference or media event to inform the press about looming changes to its bouquets and channels structure, with the media none the wiser about the latest range of changes and with StarSat subscribers who are frustrated, left without answers to their many questions, and venting on social media.

StarTimes dropped FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, ST Series E1 and Trace Africa which disappeared as channels.

Also gone is ST Sports Focus, ST Sports Life, ST Sports Arena, ST Sports Premium, ST Sports World Football rebranded into just 3 sports channels: ST Sports 1 HD, ST Sports 2 HD and ST Sports 3 HD.

ST Sports 1 HD and ST Sports 3 HD are available to the Super and Max bouquets. ST Sports 2 HD is only available to the Special bouquet on StarSat.

StarSat said it would be returning the Africa Movie Channel Series (AMC Series). It also said it would add the Indian-infused Colours channel although that channel remains unavailable.

The Walt Disney Company Africa and FOX Networks Group Africa (FNG Africa) were both asked about why ESPN is not available on StarSat as promised but didn't respond with answers to a media enquiry made last week and again on Monday.

StarSat subscriber Frank Wallace said "What happened to channel 125? StarSat is becoming less watchable for me. It seems to be catering more for the Chinese, Nigerian, Spanish, Mexican or whatever audiences. Such a pity. As a pensioner, there is no value for money anymore".

"We are paying for 3 less channels that have disappeared. Let us know and stop keeping us in the dark like you usually do," wrote StarSat subscriber Graham Thomas.

"We demand answers now. Where are the new channels?" asked Kudzai Sanyika. "Why did you remove by FOX Sports when you can't replace it?"

Tatenda Mahachi said "StarSat you need to be serious. How can you remove two sports channels and three music channels? Bring back Trace Africa and FOX Sports."

"StarSat is confusing us," remarked Buti Mbuduma. "What's happening to the rebranding of ST Sports 1 HD etc.?"

"StarSat is going to lose a lot of customers due to their recent changes and I'm one of them," said Tee Mashego.

"Channels 125, 248 and 249 all gone!" said Haroon Vahed. "Please stop beating your own drum! You are pathetic. I suppose we can expect more local, Nigerian and Chinese fare! Please! Enough of this trash. Where are the replacements for the movie channels that you pulled a few years ago? And enough of those badly dubbed foreign stuff."