SABC seeks to alter rules giving pay-TV stations free use of channels
The SABC has asked the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to conduct an urgent public review of regulations that allow pay-TV operators to carry its television channels for free. Passed in 2008, the so-called "must carry" regulations oblige all subscription broadcasters with more than 30 channels to transmit the SABC’s three free-to-air television channels. The SABC board is reviewing all contracts and regulations that hamper its sustainability. The Treasury is considering the SABC’s request for a R3bn guarantee after the broadcaster made record losses in the past two financial years and faces a liquidity crisis. In a letter to Icasa’s acting chairman, Paris Mashile, SABC chairman Bongumusa Makhathini said the "must carry" regulations had "had a serious impact on the SABC from a potential revenue point of view". The regulations "zero rate" the SABC channels and had created a "noncommercial negotiating environment", he said. The submission said the regulations seemed ...
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