Satellite television is in for a change in Southern Africa — Free2View
this week launches its MSNBC Africa channel, which will bring free
satellite TV to millions, write Itumeleng Motuba and Tamlyn Stewart in The Times.

All it takes is a once-off payment of R1400 for a digital receiver and a satellite dish. After that, everything is free.

But media analysts believe that the price tag for the receiver and the dish still put Southern Africa’s only free-to-air satellite television platform out reach of 40million potential viewers.

Great Media’s chief technical director, Malcolm Ramsay, said MSNBC Africa intends offering 36 channels, including 24-hour news, and documentary and entertainment channels.

MSNBC Africa is part of the global MSNBC family and hopes to generate income from advertising as opposed to subscriptions .

The bouquet will also include MSNBC international prime-time programming, which will be repeated twice daily.

David Moore, media analyst at Africa Analysis, said that though there was a gap in the local broadcasting market, the buy-in costs put the new channel out of reach of most Southern Africans.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Times website.