Cable TV on Horizon

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A new pay cable TV company, Digital Cable Television (DCTE), is poised to start broadcasting shortly, following the awarding of a broadcasting licence in June last year by the Namibian Communications Commission. The man behind the multi-million-dollar new television venture is Windhoek businessman Lucky Masabane, the former owner of another privately owned free-to-air station, Desert Television. “Pay television is the ultimate answer for Namibia taking into account the local market and there is enough room for such private initiative. That’s exactly what my company intends doing,” Masabane spoke passionately about his new venture in a New Era interview. According to Masabane, DCTE has conducted extensive research to test different technologies that will lead the station to the “next best thing”. “We have invited our business partners, who will be part of Digital Cable Television’s international team that will lead the station with multiple channel choices aimed at the Namibian masses beyond the borders of this country,” he said. He was quick to add that the new television company does not aim to oppose similar companies already operating as pay channels. “We will neither reinvent the wheel nor piggybag on other companies regarding infrastructure already existing and available with so many satellite channels set up all over the country. Our approach is three-pronged: accessibility, scalability and affordability. We are already negotiating with providers in the industry and are confident that we will reach amicable agreements,” Masabane said. In his view, DCTE will be an interactive communications medium that will also focus on local content. “Namibia is an ideal and perfect test ground to export such technology to neigh-bouring countries and the rest of the continent. The station will primarily focus on entertainment, sports, news and current affairs. We intend availing a daily life slot for educational purposes to the Ministry of Education. Learners will at any given time be able to be tutored in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and others from a central point right in their classrooms. Health issues will also be focused on,” he said of the revolutionary educational advantages of the venture. DCTE also intends availing one of its 500 channels for State House, through which announcements of national importance can instantly and directly be broadcast. “Subscribers will be able to tune in for a mere N$99 per month once we are operative and access will be by way of a decoder to be handed to subscribers for free,” he promised. A television education expert from New York and a property copyright lawyer are part of the management team, primarily consisting of top South African business people. A public announcement by the company is planned for tomorrow.