South African pay TV service up for sale

Technology group Altech is to sell its Altech Node pay TV venture in South Africa after less than a year, citing poor consumer uptake of the service.

The company said it was in advanced talks with a third-party purchaser to acquire the business and that it anticipated Altech Node would be disposed of in the short term.

Altech Node – an advanced home gateway console combined with a transactional and subscription VOD offering, was launched last September. It scored a movie content deal with Warner Bros. last month.

The device maintained a carousel-based library of content on its hard drive, which users could access for a monthly fee of ZAR299 (US$23.99), which was paid on top of a one-off device fee of ZAR3,499. Recent blockbusters were available for ZAR25 for 48 hours.

Altech Node also allowed users to buy data, voice airtime and pre-paid electricity and pay for municipal and utility services. It was also capable of downloading Android apps, enabling users to access the internet and email, and to control home appliances using Node branded smart plugs.