ReadyTV, Jamaica’s first prepaid cable TV service, officially opened the doors to its state of the art headquarters and ReadyExpress store in Palms Plaza Portmore, St. Catherine on Wednesday May 24th. The event was held under the distinguished patronage of the Minister of Sports, Culture and Gender Affairs, corporate partners, directors, shareholders and team members.
The groundwork to provide a digital broadcast TV service is complete, making cable television now more widely available in Jamaica. Boasting first world technology, ReadyTV is now available in Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine. It’s digital broadcast signal also reaches many parts of Clarendon, St. Ann and St. Mary with many more rural communities to be served as it rolls out island wide.
Chris Dehring CEO of ReadyTV, is excited about the launch of the service. “Today marks a milestone both in Jamaica and in our journey at ReadyTV as we are officially open to the public. Jamaicans from all walks of life can now enjoy over one hundred channels that will entertain, inform and educate, bridging the digital divide for so many Jamaicans that have been left behind”. Dehring said. “To access ReadyTV, all a customer needs is to purchase a digital box, and attach it to their TV set at home, use an antenna to find our broadcast signal and then top up with ready credit to buy TV channel packages. This is the reason for our tagline that says it all – pick it, hook it up, top it up… and you are ready!”
A historic first for Jamaica, the ReadyTV basic service starts with ten free digital TV channels broadcast in high definition, including internationally respected CNN and BounceTV, as well as popular local channels Hype, Best of Jamaica and Business Access TV. Established broadcast channels CVM, Love and TVJ are joined by “new kids on the block”, Mello TV, adding much needed variety. The Government of Jamaica’s Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) completes the line up of free digital channels that will change forever what free broadcast television means in Jamaica.
“For the first time, people will be able to access free digital TV and radio channels. In addition, the fact that our network is owned, designed and built by a business and technologically savvy Jamaicans should make all Jamaicans proud of this memorable moment”, Dehring beamed.
The SMS text pay platform is an important feature of the service with customers able to top up their accounts with ready credit, using either electronic pins through the GO network or scratch cards distributed by Facey Telecoms, using their mobile phones. This the company expects will be a significant boon to the local content industry that will now have both an unmatched reach to audiences and a pay TV platform to monetize their content. “It is significant that we asked the Minister of Sports, Culture and Gender Affairs to open our offices and launch the service. In the digital world content is king and Jamaicans are the most creative, imaginative and culturally influential people on the planet. We are confident that using our new service we can as a nation begin to realize our immense potential as a creative force in the digital world.
ReadyTV is currently the only prepaid cable TV service in Jamaica, a fact that Dehring says “complements versus competes” against the existing cable service providers. “There are an estimate 500,000 households in Jamaica without cable television. Similar to how prepaid mobile brought telephones to the vast majority of Jamaicans many years ago, prepaid cable will make cable TV no longer a luxury item,” said Dehring. “The availability of free channels and the ability of customers to pay for only the channel packages they want for 1, 7 or 30 days at a time, is a smart way of consuming digital content considering the economic climate. We want to serve those underserved communities giving them HD quality television and allowing them to buy other local and international content when they can afford to. That includes movie channels like HBO, sports channels like ESPN, music channels like MTV and religious and educational channels. This is set to revolutionize our local television industry,” he added.
Having signed distribution deals with a growing number of retail outlets including furniture giants Courts, Rubis gas stations, SuperMed pharmacies and Rapid True Value hardware stores, the company has partnered with a dispersed network of retailers through which persons can purchase a ReadyTV digital box. In addition to these established merchants, there are independent distributors and retail outlets and the new ReadyExpress store in Portmore. For an additional cost, the company boasts a premium home delivery and install service that promises delivery and installation within 24hrs and a standard service of within forty eight hours.
For Jamaicans who value affordability, convenience and high quality, ReadyTV is the perfect fit, as these are the essential pillars that the company is built upon.