A Challenger To SuperSport and Dstv?

Great article by Alec Hogg on BDlive about who this serious challenger is:

A decade and a half after Nethold died, Naspers’s pay-TV cash cow is now at risk. Mr Rupert’s South African arm, Remgro, holds 31.2% of Sabido, the media division of black-owned conglomerate HCI. Sabido is best known for its stake in e.tv, beneficiary of South Africa’s only private free-to-air television licence. Fifteen years after its launch, the television station generates earnings of almost R700m a year and was recently valued at R8.2bn.

E.tv catapulted former trade unionists Marcel Golding and Johnny Copelyn into the ranks of the super rich — their HCI shares are worth R1.1bn to Golding, R700m to Copelyn.

Next month, Sabido launches OpenView HD. It has Multichoice in the cross-hairs. For consumers, OpenView has an irresistible price point. Pay R2,000 for the installation and get 15 channels for free. No monthly subscription charges — ever.

OpenView is touted as a Golding-Copelyn initiative, an extension of e.tv’s drive into the African continent. But for Remgro’s chairman, it is personal. Mr Rupert has large interests in the sports world, the critical segment for Multichoice’s R625 a month top-end viewers.

Rugby is the obvious starting point. His empire extends to the MARC Group (formerly SAIL), which controls the Blue Bulls and has a substantial stake in Western Province.

Mr Rupert is a global figure in golf. And through the Laureus Awards, his influence stretches further. He is sure to call in favours from a vast network of friends, associates and those who simply fear him.

Mr Market has not paid attention to the OpenView challenge. Naspers shares gained 25% in the past three months, adding almost R100bn since news leaked of the new competitor to its pay-TV operation.

Read the full article here for the background on what could be great competition for the digital tv and sports tv market in SA and Africa.