Affordable new pay-TV service will be launched in Africa

African telecommunications pro-vider Gateway Communications yesterday launched GTV, a pan-African pay-TV satellite delivered service that is set to compete with South Africa's DStv.

African telecommunications pro-vider Gateway Communications yesterday launched GTV, a pan-African pay-TV satellite delivered service that is set to compete with South Africa's DStv.

The company said GTV would "provide a unique bouquet of high- quality international and local entertainment content with a subscription price aimed at penetrating the chronically underserved African television market".

Africa represents the least penetrated pay-TV region in the world, with less than one percent of television-owning households in sub-Saharan Africa currently subscribing to pay-TV services, compared with 15percent in Eastern Europe, 36percent in Western Europe and 93percent in North America, the company noted.

"However, with more than 46million TV sets, and growing at well over 10percent a year, Africa represents a large and rapidly growing market for subscription television, which Gateway's own independently commissioned research estimates will grow to more than $3billion by 2015," Gateway said.

"The African market has been artificially constrained by monopoly pricing and non-relevant content. GTV will be a pay-TV platform for Africa, not simply rebroadcasts of European or South African content," explained Julian McIntyre, president of Gateway and founder of GTV.

The GTV service will be available from the middle of this year, with a phased roll-out across sub-Saharan Africa.

Based in London, Gosselies (Belgium) and Johannesburg, but focused on Africa, Gateway said that GTV was targeting customers who have previously been unable to afford subscription- based services and have been limited to a small number of national free-to-air television stations. - I-Net Bridge

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