GTV goes off the air.

GTV, the satellite television service operated by Gateway Broadcast Service stopped broadcasting yesterday the 30th January 20o9.

GTV is notable for the fact that it secured the rights to broadcast over 80% of the English Premier League games almost in August 2007 when they launched their services in Africa. GTV’s aim had been to become the preferred satellite television broadcaster across Africa and in doing so give stiff competition to DSTV, the satellite service operated by Multichoice of South Africa. GTV’s securing rights to broadcast more top games of the hugely popular English Premier League than DSTV saw many subscribers sign-up for the service throughout Africa.

At the time of going out of business, GTV had amassed an impressive 100,000+ subscribers from its operating markets in Africa and had a target of securing over 250,000 by the end of 2009. Although the GTV roll-out had already seen investments exceeding US$ 200 million, and had more than another US$ 100 million confirmed for future investments, the company was adversely affected by the current global economic downturn. GTV was unable to secure any additional funding from its global investors.

GTV’s demise is a real shocker since they had become well established leader in Africa’s satellite television business with good prospects for the future. It could also be a strong indicator of more of what we can expect in the coming year(s) in what is fast becoming one of the worst global financial crises that the world has ever seen. The lesson to start-up businesses in the current economic climate would appear to be focussing on sound business operations that can rely on organically grown revenues rather than needing to borrow loans and equity funding. Its a whole new business world out there!

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