South Africa’s eTV starts raising its profile across the continent by selling its TV channels


South Africa’s Free-To-Air channel eTV is seeking to raise its profile across the continent by selling its channel to other broadcasters in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has cleared 99% of the rights for distribution in the region and will provide replacement content for content not cleared.

It has currently sold its content into Ghana (where it is branded eGhana) and Kenya (where it is branded eAfrica). The model is advertising-driven. Once a company sub-licences the channels, they have the responsibility of finding advertisers to pay the transmission costs. Rights prices for the channel are based upon the broadcast company’s geographic footprint and viewership.

eTV thinks that the channel will make particular sense for Free-To-Air broadcasters who are making the transition to DTT and want more than one channel. eTV effectively provides a ready-made channel that is cheaper than doing it yourself. It anticipates that its channel will be available across most of Sub-Saharan Africa in a year’s time and it will also be running a news channel on DStv.

It is no secret that eTV has its own acquisition plans in Sub-Saharan Africa and has already bought shares in broadcast companies in a number of countries. Selling its channel is a cute way of building pan-continental brand awareness for when it finally comes out as a regional player.