StarSat, the affordable option


The entry of StarSat into the Pay-TV market was made possible by a partnership between South African based On Digital Media (ODM) and China’s Star Times media group, who have reportedly invested over 1 billion rand into the bouquet.

“We’re providing more than 100 channels which I think will bring us the audience we need,” Eddie Mbalo, chief executive of ODM told CNBC Africa in an interview.

The low cost Pay-TV bouquet will be releasing over 100 channels in its packages as of January 2014, as well as a stand-alone Playboy pornographic bouquet.


Mbalo explained that due to the growing size of the adult entertainment industry, the company ensured that they catered for that market.

“The truth is that adult entertainment as we said is just one of the offerings. There’s a market and we’re responding to the market needs. Judging by how the internet is going, adult entertainment is getting a lot of customers,” he explained.


However, he clarified that the pornographic bouquet would be a package that subscribers need to pay and is not included in their standard package deals.

“We have created different packages; adult is only one of the packages. You don’t have to buy the adult [entertainment package] to get StarSat,” said Mbalo.

According to Mbalo, even though Top TV originally struggled to grow in South Africa, its recent takeover by Star Times and ODM could prove to make the TV bouquet a strong competitor for MultiChoice, which is currently South Africa’s largest Pay-TV broadcaster.

He added that Star Times is already operating in 14 countries and has over 2.5 million digital terrestrial subscribers in Africa.