The lates case involving DSTV taking ICASA to court, says some commentators, is “a classic scenario of a business seeing the writing on the wall and instead of adapting and making changes, they are digging their heels in. Multichoice are just trying to hold on as long as they can till they die.”
Other says: It is difficult to find any reason why DSTV, an abusive monopoly, should not go out of business.”
But what exactly is happening?
We reference MyBroadband.co.za to get the background:
“MultiChoice is taking ICASA to court over the regulator’s recent inquiry into the pay TV market.
This follows ICASA holding public hearings on the Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations, which look at how South Africans can access national sporting events and how minority and developmental sport receives exposure.
“The pay TV market inquiry and sports broadcasting regulations both pose a risk for MultiChoice, as the company’s DStv and SuperSport brands often acquire exclusive broadcasting rights to major sporting events – both local and international.
The acquisition of these rights allow DStv to broadcast sporting events to subscribers, and therefore make DStv’s packages attractive to customers.
It is the non-DStv customers who are the focus of the regulator’s sports broadcasting hearings, however, as in their view national sporting events need to be broadcast to the whole country.”
So the trick Omies from Stellenbosch who have their salaries and pensions invested in DSTV being a succes optod for court action.
Or as MyBroadband explains, “forcing MultiChoice to give up exclusive sports broadcasting rights will seriously hurt DStv and its business model. If sporting events are made free-to-air or MultiChoice is forced to share its broadcasting rights, they lose a competitive edge – and subscribers may not see the point of having a DStv subscription.”
Of much greater concern is the attitude of two of the country’s leading sports codes. Instead of being worried about easy broadcast revenue (no doubt supporting their obscene salaries), they should be shouting for their games to be broadcast to as wide a market as possible, to develop interest and to encourage future talent, especially amongst poor kids.
But organisations like SA Rugby and SAFA have stated that they derive large parts of their income from MultiChoice, as the company pays them for TV rights.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux the Afrikaans Sunday rag Rapport that 55% of their total income in 2018 came from broadcasting rights, while SAFA interim CEO Russell Paul said ICASA’s regulations will seriously damage soccer and other sports in the country.
MyBroudband reports ICASA’s inquiry into the pay TV market – which shares certain elements with the sports broadcasting hearings, but is a separate process by the regulator – is also troublesome for MultiChoice as it has been said to ignore competition from the likes of Netflix.
It is for this reason that MultiChoice is taking court action against ICASA.
According to a report by The Star, MultiChoice has filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court against ICASA to achieve this.