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South African TV service OpenView HD experiences explosive growth aided by Zimbabwean signups

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Shows like Generations on SABC which is also offered by OpenView HD have been extremely popular in Zimbabwe

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Television is only as good as the alternatives that it provides the viewers – which explains why pay TV options that offer several channels are thriving.

Earlier this week there was testimony of this when eMedia Holdings the South African media company which owns subsidiaries like YFM, e-TV and OpenView HD (OVHD), released its annual results for the year ending March 2016.

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Despite closing off the year with a loss of 63,6 million Rand, it has enjoyed a huge subscriber growth for one of its subsidiaries, OpenView. 

OpenView is the Free To Air Decoder which gives its viewers access to over 20 South African channels that include SABC and e-TV. Over the past year, the total number of OpenView HD subscribers jumped  from 112 715 to 388 812. Between February and March 2016 a little over 38,000 subscribers signed up for the service.

The numbers show a huge appetite for an affordable TV alternative and the fact that OpenView offers free access a decent number of channels has made it a viable option for viewers who aren’t able to pay the monthly subscriptions that pay TV options like DStv require.

This value proposition of a pay-once entertainment option also gives OpenView an edge over the rising alternative of VOD (Video On Demand) services like Netflix and Showmax that have emerged as the next generation of entertainment options which are cheaper than DStv but affected by the underlying need for an internet connection to access the content.

The impressive OpenView numbers aren’t just from South African signups, though. Despite licensing regulations that make OpenView a South Africa option only, the service has emerged as a popular alternative for Zimbabweans who are able to access its content.

With the local broadcaster ZBC failing to meet people’s entertainment needs, easily accessible options like DStv being too expensive and VOD services still limited by the costs of internet, OpenView is gaining popularity among Zimbabweans.

Most of its content which includes South African TV series and soapies has a strong following locally something that is helped by the familiarity that it developed when FTA decoders like Wiztech exploded in popularity a few years ago.

Since there doesn’t seem to be anything can be done to prevent users outside South Africa from accessing OpenView, eMedia Holdings will continue to benefit from this interest Zimbabwean traffic.

image credit – goxtranews.com


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