Monday, September 2, 2019

Cell C black blackout as all its channels abruptly disappear without warning or explanation and customers fear a product implosion similar to Econet Media's shuttered Kwesé TV.

A blackout has hit Cell C black with all of the video streaming service's TV channels that have abruptly disappear without warning or explanation.

Customers not getting what they've paid for or any answers, are fearing that a product implosion similar to Econet Media's shuttered Kwesé TV might be hitting Cell C black.

Cell C black was asked what happened, why all of the linear TV channels disappeared, what message Cell C has for black customers, when service will be restored and whether customers will be getting a refund for the service they're not getting. The company didn't respond with answers to the media enquiry at the time of publication on Monday.

Besides offering a catalogue of on-demand programming including series and films, Cell C black also offer a carousel of linear TV channels ranging from entertainment and news to sports, music and lifestyle that viewers can watch through the video streaming service, exactly similar as to using a rooftop satellite dish like DStv or StarSat.

The 40 linear TV channels on Cell C black range from FOX and National Geographic, to TNT, Trace and Al Jazeera.

Cell C launched Cell C black, accessed through its own set-top box (STB) called the blackBOX, as well as through web browsers in November 2017 to compete with MultiChoice’s Showmax, Netflix South Africa and Amazon Prime Video in the growing but video streaming consumer market. 

In a note to scared Cell C black customers that TVwithThinus obtained, Cell C only tells concerned subscribers to "kindly note that there is a current technical disruption with all live TV channels on the black portal. We humbly apologise for the inconvenience and would like to assure you that your black experience is important to us. We will update you on the progress once feedback from our IT department is received".

On its website Cell C black since Monday morning, 4 days after channels blackout started, now simply says: "We are experiencing difficulties wich are affecting our live TV channels and are working to resolve the issue in a timely manner. We apologise for any inconvenience caused".

It sounds ominously similar to the pro forma platitude message that Econet sent to customers of its now bust Kwesé Play streaming service through a Roku device, its Kwesé TV pay-TV service and its Kwesé Free Sports linear TV channel that it provided to's Openview platform, that all abruptly went down while Econet kept telling customers it's working on the technical problems only for the service to be placed into liquidation.

Cell C that has sunk millions into its video streaming venture is facing massive financial problems with investors who have been saying that they're being kept in the dark about the growing Cell C cash crisis.