South Africa: Broadcasting Regulations Will Bring Us to Our Knees, Claim MultiChoice and Sports Bodies


South African sports bodies say draft regulations, proposed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa after its inquiry into subscription TV broadcasting services, will destroy them.

African broadcast giant MultiChoice says that attempts by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to level the playing fields among local broadcasters will have unintended consequences.

"We should not be trying, through regulation, to bring MultiChoice to its knees," said MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela.

In April 2019, Icasa published its draft findings after an inquiry into subscription TV broadcasting services.

The findings contained Icasa's remedies to boost competition and lower subscription prices in the pay television market, so that free-to-air broadcasters such as the SABC and eMedia could have a fighting chance against the MultiChoice juggernaut.

Some of these remedies include reducing contract durations, specifically for sports rights, as well as the mandatory splitting of content rights and selling them to more than one broadcaster.

Icasa resolved to hold public hearings on the findings from 12 to 15 January 2021. Chaired by one its councillors, Dimakatso Qocha, Icasa also invited MultiChoice, its sports body partners and the SABC and eMedia to make presentations on the matter.

The regulatory authority believes...

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