SABC+

» Quite recently, as an intermittent user of TelkomOne streaming app, I was struck by a question as to why the app lacked a local news channel, especially SABC News. It had the public broadcaster’s sports channel already which you won’t have access to if you are only subscribed to DStv. I had toyed with the urge to contact TelkomOne officials to find out why this was not the case. So you can imagine how relieved I was when the recent out-of-the-blue announcement made on the service’ site stated that,

‘…TelkomOne’s content will be migrated to the new and exciting SABC+ entertainment platform…’

Handfuls who care about television have been nose following the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation was soon launching its long-awaited streaming service, SABC+ (SABC Plus). It is natural that TelkomOne’s content would be migrated to that platform as these two protagonists have been joined at the waist since TelkomOne launched two years ago. This development brought a glimmer of hope to my stalled question. This is an interesting development specifically for lower income consumers and those in a tight fit budget. We can now assume that TelkomOne was SABC’s SABC+’s beta phase, following the tanking of Telkom LIT.    

It is clear that as this development is taking place in the context of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM wherein the SABC has promised ‘our football loving nation’ coverage of the tournament’s matches on its television channels and radio stations, this is in keeping with that promise. Technically speaking, hopefully the merger between TelkomOne and SABC into SABC+ will resolved issues that were experienced with the TelkomOne App whose interface could be ranked first in terms of slow response to navigation commands (second in that ranking is DStv Now app) in my experience that is if you are on a Samsung Smart tv or media streaming box such as Xiaomi. It would be interesting to know how other consumers on other devices have experienced the app.

It would be wonderful if, besides the six SABC Channels, other international channels that the platform carried are made available as well on SABC+. This would carry the same feel that one got when channel surfing Telkom One’s channels, that there is something to watch, otherwise it will be a compromised service especially for those who were paying subscription for TelkomOne AMP.

The evolution of the SABC into cyberspace could open-up the corporations’ prospects in terms of content enhancement and revenue collection. For instance, TV licenses holders whose accounts are not in arears can be offered a discount if not free access to what was once part of TelkomOne’s AMP content. In essence a strategy to make the SABC profitable should be tied to this noteworthy evolution of our public broadcaster. The world cup, like all things exciting in life, will come to an end. Then the real nature of the platform will emerge. For now, we gingerly hold our breath.

Late spring

17 November

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2022

*Header image retrieved from https://www.sabc.co.za/sabc/ on 17 November 2022

+ Please note that at the time of writing the SABC+ (SABC Pus) app was not yet available on Google Play App Store or on the Samsung Smart TV App Library. Subsequent media statements released around this period highlighted that the corporation had partnered with Hisense to roll out its OTT (Over The Top) app prior to the commencement of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.

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