Advertising Gains Still Holding Up Well for South Africa’s E.TV

Investment

While the SABC has blamed a disastrous advertising market for R400m of its R784m loss for the year to March, its competitor, e.tv, says the TV advertising market has held up well. "Television adspend continues to increase over the period, albeit at a slower rate and e .tv continued a steady gain in market share of that spend," Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), which owns e.tv through its subsidiary Sabido Investments, said in a statement of its results for the year to March.

It said e.tv's audience share also "continues to creep up slowly". The 24-hour news channel on the DStv bouquet was performing well, HCI said. The company said that while it had taken around five years to become profitable, "it is expected that e-News will turn positive in the near future".

HCI and e.tv declined to comment on these results. It is unclear what effect the introduction of new digital TV channels will have on e.tv's results. South Africa is in the process of migrating from analogue to digital TV and the digital spectrum will allow for more TV channels.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA has not yet assigned these channels, but it published draft regulations suggesting that current broadcasters be incentivised with additional channels. In terms of the draft regulations, e.tv will be allocated 60% of a digital multiplex, which combines several TV signals into one data stream.

It had asked for four channels last year. It warned that the total new TV channels could result in a glut in the supply of airtime available to advertisers, pushing prices down so low it could threaten the viability of commercial broadcasters.

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