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  1. 1

    Ken Westmoreland

    Chris,

    One of the things that has allowed cable and IPTV to compete against satellite, and vice versa is the fact that TV channels can be carried on different platforms. If I don’t want to subscribe to Sky in the UK, I can still get most of its channels on cable (if I live in an area that has it) or, increasingly, IPTV. Apart from Virgin Media having a fall-out with Sky, which led to it dropping Sky One and Sky News, what cable subscribers want from Sky, they can get. Admittedly there isn’t a huge difference in price, but it’s still possible to save.

    When I first went to South Africa, I used to laugh at people who called M-Net ‘cable TV’. How many South African cities are connected to fibre now? Harare in Zimbabwe has it already. (It reminds of when Rhodesia had TV before South Africa, and some people in South Africa got TV sets and tall aerials pointing towards Salisbury in the forlorn hope of picking the signal up!) Same with Nairobi in Kenya. Maybe SA will be able to leapfrog, just as it did with colour TV in 1976, though even Zanzibar was first.

    IPTV is still in its infancy in most developed countries – if you have cable there’s less need, and satellite, even less, although the attraction of the internet is that you’re not constrained by national boundaries or satellite footprints, and with VPNs you can work your way around geoblocking.

    As it happens, IPTV has benefited South Africans living in the UK, or at least Afrikaans speakers, as KykNet is now on TalkTalk’s IPTV service here. The great thing about it is that it reaches niche audiences more easily than satellite or cable operators who’d consider the market too small.

  2. 2

    Theart

    Hi Chris, One must never lose perspective on the fact that M-Net was handed their license without any resistance from the previous government in 1986. No tender, no pitch nothing. That they have had a MASSIVE head-start in all of this. Good on them, but ja – afrikaner nationalism had a big hand to play in giving them the opportunity to have an 8 year head start. Perhaps the current regime should learn from that.

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