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Pay-TV operator MultiChoice says it is concerned that the new board at the cash-strapped SABC is demanding payment for what used to be a free service, in a bid to raise revenue. According to MultiChoice, it is illogical for the public broadcaster to now require its DStv bouquet to pay to carry the SABC’s three channels as they are freely available in any case. But the SABC argues that MultiChoice has benefited from having the channels on DStv, claiming the three are among the most watched on the platform. In 2008 the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) introduced the "must carry" regulations, which compelled pay-TV companies to carry the SABC’s free-to-air channels — SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 — in support of universal access. In a recent letter to Icasa, SABC chairman Bongumusa Makhathini said that the "must carry" rules had "had a serious impact on the SABC from a potential revenue point of view". New revenue streams The dispute comes at a time when the new SABC board ...

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