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Sub-Saharan Africa

The MultiChoice African business provides multi-channel pay television and subscriber management services in 48 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean islands. The group has ownership interests through MultiChoice Africa in joint ventures operating in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. In other Sub-Saharan African countries, MultiChoice Africa operates through agents or franchisees. MultiChoice is committed to partnering with local entrepreneurs, governments and broadcasters across the continent and to tailoring its operations to suit local needs while maintaining the highest levels of service and product quality.

As pioneers in pay television in Africa, MultiChoice is continuously seeking new technology and channels for its services that enable subscribers to enjoy the best television experience possible while having unprecedented control over their viewing choices MultiChoice Africa believes it has played an important role in making information and entertainment more accessible, and as an African business, investments have brought both social and economic benefits to the communities in which they operate through access to information, job opportunities, partnerships and training.

Rapid expansion and a steadfast belief in a bright future for Africa has ensured that the company continues to invest, not only in people and operations, but also in the broader African economies. Education and access to information are vital to the development and growth of the continent; thus the focus of MultiChoice’s corporate social investment is education. Through the MultiChoice Resource Centres which have been established in over 1000 schools across Africa, MultiChoice provides the DStv Education bouquet in order to enhance learning and bring abstract concepts to life.

Through the DStv services, MultiChoice Africa offers premium channels designed to suit the viewing needs of the whole family. The range of channels cover a broad range of content including first run films, documentaries, children’s programming, news and key sport. Through the M-Net and SuperSport channels, MultiChoice maintains a strong focus on local content and extensive investments have been made in the creation of content made in Africa for Africa thus showcasing and building local talent. Additionally, specialised content has been acquired to suit the viewing needs of the Portuguese speaking markets in Africa.

MultiChoice Africa’s digital DStv service features over 70 video channels (including numerous customised M-Net and SuperSport channels and many major international network channels), and up to 65 audio channels. A dynamic and leading technology infrastructure is constantly upgraded to enable subscribers to enjoy the latest television innovations while keeping in touch with up-to-the-minute news, information and entertainment.

The following table sets out the subscriber numbers for sub-Sahara Africa's pay-television services as at the end of March 2012 and March 2013:

Launch date March 2012 March 2013
Subscribers 1996 1,630,447 2,287 650

The net subscriber base grew by 40% since March 2013 to over 2.2 million homes. Lower-priced bouquets addressing a broader market segment grew strongly to approximately 660,000 net subscribers.

MultiChoice Africa’s digital service is transmitted direct-to-home, on the Eutelsat 36B KU-band and IS7 KU-band transponders. Customers receive these signals on a satellite dish mounted on or near their homes. The signal is then descrambled and decompressed for viewing using a conditional access system, set-top box and smart card. MultiChoice Africa utilises the Irdeto conditional access system and third party set-top box technology that incorporates Irdeto’ software for both its digital platforms. Smart cards are credit card-sized devices that have embedded processors that provide entitlement functions and store decryption keys and digital signatures. The smart cards are inserted in a set-top box to gain access to encrypted digital programming.

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Sub-Saharan Africa

GOtv, a product of MultiChoice Africa, is a new digital pay television offering on Digital Terrestrial Television platforms established in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This new mass market offering provides exciting digital home television for the whole family at an affordable price. GOtv is innovative, fun, simple, friendly, affordable, relevant and exciting - with local and international channels ranging from news, children’s programming, documentaries, series, sport and movies.

Currently, terrestrial broadcasting in most African countries is in an analogue format, however each country is in the process of migrating from analogue to digital and through partnerships and working in collaboration with governments and state broadcasters, GOtv is contributing to this digital migration process.

GOtv is thus part of the digital revolution that is set to bring more choice and more value to television viewers across the continent. GOtv was first launched in Zambia in June 2011, and since then has also been launched in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. These DTT networks have required significant investments by MultiChoice Africa and its partners to ensure the latest technology is deployed in each country. GOtv is delivered using the latest next generation Digital Video Broadcast standard - DVB-T2 technology which enables the offering to be regionalized - thus delivering a different channel line-up per country in order to truly suit the viewing needs of subscribers, DVB-T2 also allows for far more efficiency for the spectrum allocation as each frequency can carry up to 20 channels.

The GOtv brand was specially created to make available an affordable digital television product for all. Television viewers in Sub Saharan Africa are now set to benefit from easy access to an increased number of channels, with enhanced picture and sound quality synonymous with digital television. The GOtv channel lineup is also uniquely placed to allow it to become the home of African television.