Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Next channels on StarSat going dark is the NBA TV and NBA TV HD channels from 30 June; taken over exclusively by another pay-TV operator.

NBA TV (StarSat 206) and NBA TV HD (StarSat 207) are the next two channels on On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media South Africa's StarSat.

The channels are being terminated and going dark on the Woodmead-based satellite pay-TV platform's service on 30 June.

StarSat said the NBA TV channel and its high-definition (HD) version has been taken over exclusively by another pay-TV operator, but TVwithThinus has etablished that it's not MultiChoice and its DStv service.

StarSat didn't tell the media about the latest channels' loss but in response to a media enquiry confirms to me that the NBA channels covering American basketball are indeed going dark on 30 June on StarSat's platform.

The NBA TV channels are going dark two and a half years after it was added in November 2013 to StarSat. The NBA TV HD channel is one of the few HD offered channels actually available on StarSat's HD enabled white set-top box decoder.

StarSat sent an on-screen message to StarSat subscribers informing them of the NBA TV channels' removal on 30 June.

As in the past, StarSat tells its subscribers that the loss of the channels creates an opportunity to acquire other TV channels.

StarSat, even with the backing of China's StarTimes for the past two years, seldom delivers on these promises of replacement and new high-quality channels, with ongoing daily complaints from StarSat subscribers about programming and sound and video quality issues.

"StarSat can confirm that as of 30 June, NBA TV and NBA TV HD will no longer be available on its platform," says the pay-TV provider.

"The decision to close the two channels was taken following the confirmation by FOX who owns the rights to both channels, that they have taken the decision to give another pay-TV platform exclusive broadcast rights."

"StarSat would like to assure its valued subscribers that while these two channels will no longer be available on its platform, it does create an opportunity for the company to acquire other high-quality and entertaining channels for its valued subscribers."

MultiChoice tells me that "MultiChoice is not adding the NBA TV channel to DStv because it was acquired by another entity on the continent".