Regulation & policy

Kenya: CAK clears new digital broadcast players

The Communication Authority of Kenya has started licensing of commercial Free-to Air Television services in the country, after digital migration which saw the switch off of analogue signals in February. CAK director general Francis Wangusi yesterday issued eight FTA TV licenses with a reminder to broadcasters to secure accreditation on time.

The eight broadcasters cleared are Zarina Company Ltd, Seventh Day Adventist - East Kenya Union Conference, Akili Networks Ltd, Entertainment Channel Ltd and World Music Ltd.

Spooks spying on SABC staff?

A trade union has lifted the lid on what it describes as suspicious activity by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) at the SABC’s Durban office. Allegations included employees being thrown out of offices for hours and of them being threatened with dismissal if they dared speak of the activity. This is according to Hannes du Buisson, president of the Broadcast Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union.

StarSat won’t withdraw DStv complaint

StarSat parent On Digital Media (ODM) has no intention of withdrawing a complaint it lodged against DStv parent MultiChoice in 2013 at the Competition Commission in which it accused its rival of engaging in anticompetitive behaviour. ODM, which is close to completing a business rescue process it went into in 2012 after running into financial trouble, accused MultiChoice of abusing its monopoly by not supplying it with access to two SuperSport channels for broadcasting on StarSat (at the time known as TopTV). “As you know, the Competition Commission takes its time.

ICASA blamed for pay-TV monopoly

ICASA has so far chosen not to enable competition in the pay-TV space, say observers.

The local pay-TV market will remain dominated by a single, entrenched player, unless the county's communications regulator decides to get serious about introducing real competition into the space, market observers have warned.

It is up to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to regulate the market in such a way as to open the door for real competitors to incumbent MultiChoice, which holds about 90% of the South African pay-TV market.

ICASA, NCC sign consumer complaints agreement

An MOU has been signed between ICASA and the NCC to help deal with telecoms-related consumer complaints faster.

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) have entered into a cooperative working agreement to help resolve telecommunication and broadcast-related complaints.

ACTV condemns high pay-TV subscription rates

A new direct to home cable television service provider, African Cable Television, has kicked against the subscription rates being paid by Nigerians to view pay-TV.

It said it had always been against such ‘high rates’, which was why it chose to offer content in four bouquets at affordable prices on an apple-to-apple comparison lower than those already available in the market.

The ACTV made its entry to the pay-TV market some months ago, and industry observers have noted that it is gradually winning its own share of the market.

Committee closes legal opinion on SABC board members

The Portfolio Committee on Communications has officially closed the legal opinion that was sought following the removal of three board members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The purpose of the legal opinion, which was sought from Parliament s Constitution and Legal Services Unit, was to advise the committee on the legality of the SABC board s decision.

It concluded that any removal of a SABC board member that was not in line with the provisions of the Broadcasting Act was invalid and unlawful. vs Muthambi: read the judgment in full

The high court in Pretoria this week handed a significant victory to communications minister Faith Muthambi as well as broadcasters opposed to the idea of subsidising an encryption system in the set-top boxes that government intends providing free to 5m poorer households as part of the country’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television.

New family friendly pay-TV service coming

Another dormant pay-TV broadcaster, WoWtv which got a pay-TV licence in 2007 is finally ready to start its commercial pay-TV service in South Africa offering 19 TV channels and 8 radio stations.

Walking on Water Television (WoWtv) was granted a licence in September 2007 to start a subscription TV service.

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