Openview, the free-to-air satellite platform in the eMedia Holdings stable and a sister company to e.tv, has increased the number of activations of its set-top boxes by more than 18% in the past year, to almost 2.4 million units.
That’s an improvement from the just less than two million activations recorded a year ago.
The figures were disclosed in JSE-listed eMedia’s results for the year ended March 31, 2021, which were published on Thursday.
The media group is now promising to launch new channels in the current financial year to improve the breadth of the Openview content offering. it also said it will launch a streaming video offering called eVOD in July, but didn’t provide any further details about the product or what programming it will offer.
Openview, inclusive of the e.tv multi-channel business, earned advertising revenue of R269.6 million in the year to March, up from R194.1 million previously. However, it incurred content costs of R366.9 million, up from R308.7 million in 2020.
“The increase is attributable to the additional sports on the news and sports channel as well as the addition of the Afrikaans block on eExtra,” eMedia said. These content investments have increased the television viewing market share of the group, it added.
Operating expenses at Openview fell by 7% due to the group ending a consumer subsidy of set-top boxes that was designed to drive sales. “Despite this reduction in subsidy, Openview set-top box activations continue to grow at an average of 35 000/month.”
eMedia Holdings reported full-year headline earnings per share of 16.42c, or about half the 33.34c reported in 2020. Revenue from continuing operations was R2.4-billion, compared to R2.5-billion last year.
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Duncan McLeod is editor of TechCentral, on which this article was first published here.