GOTV switched off over shareholder dispute

HARARE - GOTV, a digital terrestrial television service launched amid fanfare in February last year by partners who include Multichoice Africa and Transmedia, was switched off at the end of January over shareholder differences.

A Multichoice statement released yesterday reveals the existence of serious discord among shareholders, who also include DAE, which prompted Transmedia to switch off GOtv.

“On 31 January 2014 GOtv transmitters were switched off without prior notice to the management of GOtv, MultiChoice Africa or GOtv subscribers,” read part of the statement.

While not providing extensive details, the statement exposes the nature of the dispute among the shareholders.

“GOtv stakeholders have, jointly and individually, been in discussions with the regulatory and government officials in order to resolve the situation. These discussions relate primarily to the shareholding in GOtv. No agreement has yet been reached on the matter.

“Unfortunately, this is something beyond our control. However we will continue to engage the relevant authorities in order to have the GOtv signal restored as soon as possible.”

Multichoice, who appear to have no confidence in the speedy resolution of the shareholder impasse, have already started compensating subscribers.

“In the interim, and in order not to disadvantage our customers, GOtv is offering all active subscribers compensation of $75 or a DStv single view decoder, together with one month DStv Access. We have started sending SMS notifications to subscribers advising them when to bring their GOtv decoder, remote control and antenna to MultiChoice Zimbabwe, Avondale,” the Multichoice statement added.

Multichoice, who have a 60 percent stake in GOtv venture with Transmedia owning 30 percent, are convinced that the stalled project has immense potential.

“The growth of the service in Zimbabwe was also quite promising — with good growth coming from a limited coverage area. The rollout of the service was on track, and was rendered unavailable due to issues beyond our control.

“The rollout plans remain on track, and we would be able to increase coverage and subscriber take- up as soon as a decision is taken to switch the service back on air.

Unfortunately, this decision is not in our hands. The matter is still under discussion, and, although it is out of our hands, it is our hope that the service will be back up soon,” added the statement availed by Liz Dziva, Multichoice Zimbabwe public relations and marketing manager.

Efforts to get an official comment from Transmedia were fruitless. Transmedia’s chief executive officer Florence Sigudu could not avail information on why GOtv was abruptly switched off when the Daily News phoned her yesterday.

Comments (1)

please stop playing games with us I received a sms of the refund two weeks ago but up to now nothing about coming to exchange the decorder nd what of the missed programmes hoping that the solution will be found soon??????? tipeiwo maserious

nyatanga t - 5 March 2014

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