Free-To-Air TV Service ‘TV2GO’ Takes Off in South Africa, Set to Challenge Satellite TV Viewing

TV2GO, a Free-To-Air TV Service Launches in Africa to Challenge Satellite TV Viewing

There has been plenty of discussions about the future of TV since the start of the year. As video streaming continues to stand on more solid ground, traditional TV and satellite providers are losing ground fast.

Now a new threat has emerged to increase that pressure even further. South African company, Infinity SA has just launched TV2GO, a free-to-air TV platform. The platform is completely web based, uses no decoder and has no app presently. The platform is accessible via mobile phone browsers, tablets, and even internet-enabled TV devices.

Currently, the completely web-based TV platform has over 100 linear and on-demand channels for viewing. Its channels range from general entertainment, sports and religion.

The platform currently has content for the South African market only. Nonetheless, Infinity SA plans to increase its offerings and expand the service to other African countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia. These three countries represent not just some of Africa’s largest economies, but they also possess the continent’s highest populations.

Interestingly, unlike other internet TV platforms, TV2GO doesn’t use a subscription model for revenue generation. Instead, it plans to make money from advertising. It explains that for every three hours of viewing, users may see up to eight adverts. This seems like a workable plan, considering income levels across African countries.

But in the new economy that’s considerably data driven, this model could run into trouble as advertisers prefer to know more about their target audience upfront.

Nonetheless, Infinity SA reveals that uptake of the service has been impressive. While still in beta, the service garnered over 30,000 viewers.

It has also partnered with South African telecom company, Vodacom for its full launch. And a report says Vodacom has agreed “to market it.” Not a surprising move considering that telecom companies are presently seeking to increase data revenue over voice revenue.

Revelation about the new service follows several reports about the challenges satellite TV providers are going through especially on the continent. For instance, Kwese TV, a satellite TV provider shut down this week to focus on web based platforms. And DSTV, the traditional industry heavyweight is currently in a confused state. Its parent company, Naspers, is considering divesting from the company as it faces significant threat from Netflix.

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