A consortium looking to bring TV to South African mobile phones has received a major investment boost.
The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC), a black-owned independent and non-profit business support organisation, has bought a 20% stake in Mobile TV, which has been testing its product for the last 15 months.
“This investment is likely to have a major impact on ownership, control and management demographics in South Africa,” says Dr Mothobi Mutloatse, founder and chairman of Mobile TV. “The Nafcoc investment is a major step, as it represents the first time that an organized black business grouping has invested in cutting edge technology in the media sector.”
“The new technology that Mobile TV brings into the broadcast sector will deal with the issue of lack of access to information and entertainment in the rural and deep rural areas,” says Lawrence Mavundla, chairman of the newly created investment arm of Nafcoc.
Mavundla, who will be taking up a seat on the Mobile TV board, reckons the new medium circumvents some of the difficulties of getting involved in traditional broadcasting.
“If one considers the investment required to purchase a set-top box to decode encrypted television signal, it makes complete sense to circumvent the cost and go directly to the mobile technology that is available. The business opportunities are endless and the investment decision wasn’t a hard one to make”, he said.
Mobile TV will reportedly have a “combination of aggregated content as well as introducing new channel streams under the brand TVG4U”.