Shocking news. GTV, has ceased operations citing the effect of the global financial crisis. GTV was a multi-channel digital satellite TV service with active subscribers in 22 African countries but their sudden closure has left millions of soccer fans high-and-dry. London-based GTV, launched in June 2008, used Eutelsat’s W3 satellite from 7 degrees East, and uplinked from Arqiva’s teleport at Chalfont Grove, just outside London.
Thousands of GTV employees across Africa have lost their jobs and subscribers are left with useless decoders. GTV had over 100,000 subscribers but that was not enough to keep it afloat. According to sources, it needed at least 400,000 subscribers to stay in business. Last minute efforts to sell-out to Canal Horizon (a competitor that focuses on Francophone African countries) did not yield meaningful results either as talks were reported to have broken down.
GTV had fast-tracked its growth in Africa by investing in football (soccer). Africa is a football-crazy continent and so GTV’s sponsorship deals in the local leagues of some African countries, as well as its right to broadcast 80% of the English League matches, helped boost it’s subscriber base significantly. Apparently, all its best efforts were not good enough to save it from the hurricane called “global financial crisis” that is blowing across continents presently.
GTV PRESS STATEMENT ON LIQUIDATION
LONDON – 30 January 2009 – Gateway Broadcast Services announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to liquidate the Company.
The current financial and global crisis has severely interrupted the company’s ability to secure further funding for the continued operation of the business.
The company has worked extensively with external advisors and all internal resources to investigate, evaluate and analyze strategic alternatives for the Company to further continue to operate. In determining to approve the Company’s plan of Liquidation, the board and management carefully reviewed the advice and findings.
Gateway Broadcast Services, suppliers of the GTV service to subscribers across Africa has over the last 2 years invested a total of US$200 million and created jobs and competition in the 22 markets. The economic crisis that has emerged globally over the last few months has caused excessive demands on the business.
With immediate effect the service will be withdrawn.
“Increased instability in global markets interrupted our ability to secure funding on an acceptable timescale and have left us no choice but to cease operations,” said a company spokesman.
“We realise the negative impact this has had on our loyal customers, creditors and staff, all of who have believed in GTV and the revolution in pay TV it had created. We have tried every possible step to keep the company going but we are all the unfortunate victims of the current global economic crisis.”
So long GTV. Rest in Peace.