Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Deutsche Welle and Emmanuel TV going dark on MultiChoice's DStv.

by Thinus Ferreira

Two more TV channels are going dark on DStv with MultiChoice that lost access to Germany's Deutsche Welle, with the religion TV channel Emmanuelle TV going dark on 17 January.

Deutsche Welle (DStv 446) stopped broadcasting on 30 December 2023 as a linear TV channel. 

Its demise comes as linear TV channels and the traditional pay-TV bundle come under increasing threat and pressure, with channel distributors and operators moving out of the business meaning that the number of available linear TV channels for pay TV has started to decrease globally.

In March 2023 Deutsche Welle announced that it would be shutting down its linear broadcasting service to focus resources and money on its digital services as part of the digital transformation of its German international service.

"We have to make some difficult decisions as a precaution so that we don't find ourselves in an infinitely more difficult situation in 2024," Deutsche Welle director-general Peter Limbourg said.

"At the same time, we have to respond to the highly dynamic digital transformation, which poses a major challenge to us in the international media markets. The very young, digital-savvy target groups, not only in Africa and Asia, inform themselves primarily via digital offerings."

MultiChoice in response to a media query said "We regret to inform you that Deutsche Welle has decided to terminate this channel on all platforms, including DStv, across all territories worldwide, effective 30 December 2023".

Also going away is the controversial Emmanuel TV (DStv 390), with the religion TV channel, in a statement, announcing that it's exiting MultiChoice's DStv and GO, as well as other pay-TV services on 17 January 2024.

MultiChoice in response to a media query confirmed that Emmanuel TV "will no longer be available on DStv and GOtv packages, effective 17 January 2024."

The Christian television channel founded by the former TB Joshua that had a playout centre in Johannesburg is set to go dark on MultiChoice's DStv and GOtv across Africa from 17 January.

The Nigerian-based Emmanuel TV was founded by the late televangelist T.B. Joshua in 2006 and expanded to a YouTube channel where it became one of the most-subscribed Christian ministry YouTube channels worldwide.

In April 2021 following "gay curing" claims, YouTube shut down the channel over Emmanuel TV content with YouTube noting the channel isn't allowed to allege that "someone is mentally ill, diseased or inferior because of their membership in a protected group, including sexual orientation". Emmanuel TV had to start over on YouTube. Facebook also removed some Emmanuel TV posts.

Following T.B. Joshua's death in June 2021, Emmanuel TV has relied heavily on old rebroadcasts and repeat programming of the late televangelist, adding less new content nowhere close to the prolific scale while Joshua was alive.