Wednesday, February 28, 2024

More TV channels on MultiChoice's DStv axed including People’s Weather.

by Thinus Ferreira

As the traditional pay-TV bundle continues to fray at the seams DStv subscribers have lost access to even more TV channels although another price increase will kick in from April, with B4U Movies gone, as well as community TV channels 1Free State TV and NWTV that went dark after just a few months, and with People's Weather getting axed within days.

B4U Movies, the Indian movie channel based in Mumbai with a channel line-up mix of classic and contemporary Bollywood films formed part of MultiChoice's DStv Indian package but suddenly stopped broadcasting at the end of January. 

About B4U Movies, MultiChoice told me it "regularly reviews its channel lineup to ensure we offer customers the best in local and international content" and that B4U "will no longer form part of our content lineup on GOtv channel 57/157/357 and DStv channel 451 effective 1 March 2024".

After MultiChoice's fanfare announcement that 1Free State TV (DStv 264) from mid-November, and NWTV (DStv 266) from December 2023 were added for DStv subscribers, both these community TV channels abruptly failed and stopped transmitting after just two months.

At launch, MultiChoice said that 1Free State TV as an "exciting addition to the DStv line-up is set to captivate the audience with entertainment, with its different range of programming delivered in Sesotho and English" and that the pay-TV service was "dedicated to showcasing the richness and diversity of Free State, with a focus on local culture, innovation, and community engagement". 

At launch, MultiChoice said that it "happily welcomes NWTV on our platform as it speaks to our continued effort to strengthen the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of our country" and that the partnership "allows us to enrich lives of the communities we operate in through job creation and skills development".

MultiChoce and NWTV promised "a diverse range of family-friendly programming" over the coming months which failed to materialise.

Two months later both channels are nowhere to be seen on DStv.

Following 1Free State TV removal from DStv, Thobeka Basholo, 1Free State TV spokesperson, told me "The termination of the channel was primarily due to contractual challenges, which both parties are actively addressing to reach a favourable resolution".

"1Free State TV is currently in negotiations with MultiChoice to resume broadcast on the DStv platform."

MultiChoice says on 31 January it removed NWTV and 1Free State.

"We remain committed to bringing our customers the best of local and international content through our various DStv channels and will continue to provide our customers with exciting content available on a range of packages."

After several years MultiChoice is also doing away with the People's Weather (DStv 180) channel, with the channel going dark at the end of this month. People's Weather remains available on eMedia's Openview satellite service on channel 115.

About People's Weather, MultiChoice says it "regularly reviews its channel line-up to ensure we offer customers the best in local and international content. This is done to ensure we deliver unbeatable content to our customers and that our DStv services cater for the needs and viewing requirements of our customers".

"As part of this ongoing process, People's Weather on DStv channel 180 will no longer be available on DStv packages, effective 1 March 2024."

So far six TV channels will be gone from DStv in just the two months since the beginning of 2024, with Deutsche Welle which stopped airing on 30 December and MultiChoice that decided to cancel the controversial Emmanuel TV of the late Nigerian televangelist T.B. Joshua by 17 January.