A NEW affordable pay television platform has been launched which will provide quality viewing for low income earners at a reasonable price.

The new TopTV was launched by On Digital Media at its offices in Woodmead, Johannesburg, yesterday.

ODM acquired the licence from Independent Communications Authority of South Africa in 2007. Since then ODM has been researching and establishing operational necessities.

Icasa's decision to issue the broadcasting licence was based on ODM being 68,8percent BBBEE ownership credentials.

Already more than R83million has been spent in setting up the operations from the R1billion which has been raised for the television content distributor.

Currently the main pay television player is Southern Africa is MultiChoice through its DStv.

TopTV will officially be available in May.

ODM will embark on an intense advertising and marketing campaign to get as many subscribers as possible. It expects to reach 380000 subscribers.

For as little as R99 a month, subscribers will have access to 24 channels providing a comprehensive coverage of genres including entertainment, news, sport, movies and gospel.

ODM's chief executive Vino Govender said TopTV was a breakthrough.

"Our research has proven that subscribers don't want to pay for channels they don't watch and TopTV will offer just that," Govender said.

"TopTV subscribers will be able to select packages to suit their viewing needs according to their budgets."

He said TopTV will offer subscribers seven different pricing, ranging from R99 to R249 a month.

These channels include those created specifically by TopTV with content sourced both locally and internationally, including Top Movies, Top One, a 24-hour entertainment channel with drama series and children's shows, Top Gospel - a Christian lifestyle.

In total TopTV will provide 34 new channels, nine music video channels and 25 new music audio services.

The subscriber will need a small decoder which comes with a remote control and a satellite dish installed to receive the channels.

"We advise people who already have satellite dishes to install our new dish to avoid technical glitches," Govender said.

"Our aim is to offer quality pay television to families with a household income of R3000."