DStv merges online, mobile units

DStv Online and DStv Mobile are being merged, while MultiChoice South Africa CEO Collins Khumalo is taking "time out" and mobile head Mark Rayner is taking on the role of chief operating officer. By Duncan McLeod.

Collins Khumalo has retired as MultiChoice South Africa CEO

MultiChoice South Africa CEO has decided to take “time out”

MultiChoice is merging its DStv Online and DStv Mobile businesses and has made a number of management changes, including moving mobile CEO Mark Rayner into the newly created position of chief operating officer of MultiChoice South Africa.

At the same time, Collins Khumalo is taking “time out” and has resigned as CEO of MultiChoice South Africa after 17 years at the group, with group CEO Imtiaz Patel set to assume a more operational role in the business. Calvo Mawela has been named group head of stakeholder and regulatory affairs.

DStv Online CEO John Kotsaftis explains that the technology and business roadmaps for his business and that of DStv Mobile were increasingly overlapping and so a merger of the two made sense. A new product development team is being created.

“This is the logical evolution of where we are going as a business,” says Kotsaftis, who will continue to head up the merged unit. “We’ve been developing products as two separate companies and the idea of having online and mobile businesses was dated.”

He says MultiChoice has not yet decided what it will name the merged business. The two companies have already moved into the same off-campus premises near the MultiChoice head office in Randburg.

DStv Mobile has operated a mobile broadcasting network for a number of years based on the digital video broadcasting (handheld), or DVB-H, standard. It is well known for its Drifta and Walka mobile TV products, though it also has mobile streaming products that work over the mobile operators’ 3G broadband networks.

Kotsaftis says both DStv Mobile and DStv Online developed products that streamed multimedia content over the Internet. The Online business offers streaming as part of its Catch Up product.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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