The spotlight will return to MultiChoice this week as the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) forges ahead with plans to open up the pay-TV market to create competition and provide more choice for consumers. The communications regulator will begin oral hearings in an inquiry about subscription television broadcasting service. MultiChoice dominates the market largely because it has exclusive contracts for premium and international content. The company has the exclusive rights to broadcast football, particularly the globally watched English Premier League. In a bid to break the stranglehold on the pay-TV market and to facilitate the entry of new players, Icasa is considering introducing shared sports rights and shortening contract periods. Input will be heard from the SABC, e.tv, SA Rugby, the Premier Soccer League and the recently launched Econet Media’s Kwese TV, owned by Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa. MultiChoice is scheduled to deliver oral submissions ...

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