TV bizz politics ramped up bigtime this week as channel suppliers and broadcast platforms have gone head-to-head in a battle involving axed channels and lurky, murky details.
First there was the ditching of HISTORY, Lifetime and Crime + Investigation
on DStv and now there's a smackdown between StarSat and The Walt Disney Company involving the disappearance of various Disney owned channels this week.
What's going on? Is it true that FOX and other Disney owned channels have been discontinued on StarSat? If so, why?
We asked both StarSat and The Walt Disney Company Africa and their replies are very different. StarSat's is all about 5G and Disney's is all about unspecified commercial issues.
The Walt Disney Company says they've suspended the channels and StarSat say they've suspended the channels.
These are their two statements, published in the order we received them in... see what you think the REAL story is:
Statement from The Walt Disney Company Africa:
“We can confirm that our channels (Fox, Fox Life, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox Portuguese, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic Portuguese, Baby TV, Voyage, National Geographic French, Nat Geo Wild French) are currently not being provided to StarSat. This follows ongoing commercial issues with StarSat.
Despite Disney’s negotiations in good faith and significant efforts to find a resolution, The Walt Disney Company Africa has had to suspend the feeds of all our channels to StarSat at this time.
We continue to work to find a positive resolution but in the meantime our channels will remain available on various other platforms across the continent. Viewers are encouraged to visit https://www.foxafrica.com/, https://www.natgeotv.com/za, and https://www.espn.com/ to find tune-in information.”
Statement from StarSat:
1. Yes these channels - FOX, FOX LIFE, NGC and NGW were offline from 1st October 2019
2. The current Fox channel discontinuation is an extra ordinary occurrence as proliferation of 5G signal testing stations (in SA), due to rapid expansion of 5G network has created unavoidable interference with signal feeds of aforementioned channels.
The 5G signal testing is specifically interfering with c-band satellite frequency which has in turn compromised viewer experience in terms of sound and picture quality.
This has caused unacceptably high levels of viewer dissatisfaction amongst loyal StarSat subscribers. We are unfortunately left with little or no choice but to indefinitely suspend the effected channels.
3. Channel replacement measures aimed at revitalising and refreshing our content offer are currently underway.