Botswana: GTV Hits the Market

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New kid on the block, GTV held their consumer launch at the Fashion Lounge in Phakalane in Botswana, bringing competition and lower prices to the pay television market.

GTV is a new Pan-African pay TV service offering consumers a choice after years of a Multichoice-Botswana monopoly.

The pay TV service is provided by Gateway Broadcast Services (GBS), a subsidiary of Gateway Communications, which is a leading communications services provider in Africa covering over 37 countries.

The company is rolling out their TV service across sub-Saharan Africa in phases and already they have set shop in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius as well as Botswana.

According to Rhys Torrington, GTV's Commercial Director, they noted that there were 100,000 TV sets in Botswana and only 17% showing pay TV. He said that more people could subscribe to pay TV if it was priced like a utility rather than a luxury.

"This is good news not only for viewers, but for entire industries that are related to pay TV. Potential dealers, installers, call centre employees and shopkeepers will all have the opportunity to join the TV revolution in Africa," said Torrington.

GTV also comes at a time when the broadcasting rights for the Barclays Premier League have been restructured. The TV service comes boasting of 80% of all Premier League matches and all the most important matches. This is expected to be their draw card.

GTV have 13 channels covering sports, music, movies, news and religion. To get connected to GTV will cost P1 400, which would be a one off cost to cover for connection of satellite dish, decoder, smart card and one month subscription. Monthly subscription is P155.00 for G-Base, a 10 channels package without any sports dedicated channels. The second package G-Plus, with 13 channels including international sports costs P245.00.

Subscribers who wish to keep their DSTV subscriptions will have to buy second dishes and decoders as the ones they use for DSTV will not work. If however, you terminate your subscription you will only need a new decoder and some adjustment on the (Low Noise Block) LNB to get GTV.

The Voice (Francistown), 28 August 2007