A new player in the pay-TV market in South Africa hopes to launch with the country’s very first gay television channel.
Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings, and its branded pay-TV platform CloseTV, announced on Wednesday that they were applying for a new subscription broadcast license from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
“We have approached the growing need for choice in the payTV market from the consumers’ perspective and developed niche audience specific bundles that won’t be made up of rehashed bouquets of older or lower quality programming, but rather high quality international and local programming,” said Mia Groenewald, director of Close-T Broadcast Network Holdings, in a media statement.
The company explained that it aims to allow consumers to custom build their viewing preferences, by paying only for the bouquets that are of interest to them, as opposed to paying a monthly subscription for a premier service and then only watching 20% of the total bouquet.
As part of its launch phase, CloseTV intends to offer the country’s first pay-TV bouquet for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community.
It said that it has already set up exclusive partnerships with global content providers such as OutTV group, LOGO TV and the OUT in Africa Film Festival.
“Our research shows that there are approximately six million LGBTQIA lifestyle consumers in South Africa, with virtually no television based programming,” explained Groenewald.
To complement non-LGBTQIA interests, the bouquet will include independent and art house movies, foreign language films, cultural programming, travel and fashion events.
The company made its license presentation at the ICASA subscription broadcast hearing on Thursday.
Would you pay for a gay TV channel? Do you think it would work in South Africa?