South African pay TV operator TopTV is to relaunch as StarSat, backed by China-based StarTimes, and has set itself a target of adding 700,000 customers a year, building on its existing base of 100,000 homes, according to local reports.
StarSat will offer about 90 channels to take on pay TV leader MultiChoice’s DStv service. StarTimes CEO Pang Xinxing said the company would target the seven million households in South Africa that did not already take pay TV services.
The newly branded service is expected to launch in December and will include a bouquet of adult channels for the first time. The Playboy TV UK-supplied service will reportedly include Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice.
The relaunch came despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by shareholders to head off the company’s rescue plan, which involved StarTimes taking a 20% stake in its owner On Digital Media that made it eligible to recuperate most of StarSat’s profits.