Broadcasting Services

South Africa: Can Multichoice DStv Help Resolve SABC's Financial Woes?

James Aguma, a former CEO of the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has suggested that Multichoice DStv should be mandated to help collect TV licence fees on behalf of the public broadcaster. The SABC, it well documented, is in a state of perennial financial challenges, brought about in large part by the unwillingness of the South African public to pay their TV licenses as required by law.
 
Although according to the SABC, it now has in place additional mechanisms such as settlement arrangements for owed fees and the deployment of advance technology to help recover and collect TV license fees in South Africa, experts say it will not be enough for the organisation's battered finances. It has now been openly discussed if the huge subscriber base and reach of the DStv platform could be a potential solution in this regard. It is thought that if half of DStv's subscribers pay their TV licences, it will bring in just over R1 billion to the SABC.
 
Analysts say that this, of course, will require a change in the regulation and will also depend on whether Multichoice will be willing to assume such responsibility. Some experts, however, believe that the government could put in a special mandate requiring Multichoice to act accordingly, more so as it also carries SABC's free-to-air (FTA) channels on all of DStv's packages.
 
Credit: contribution from mybroadband.co.za





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