The financially hamstrung SABC is breathing a sigh of relief after it reached a new commercial channel supply agreement with pay TV operator MultiChoice. Although the two organisations did not reveal the details of the deal, insiders say the public broadcaster could pocket between R700m and R900m a year for providing MultiChoice’s DStv platform with a 24-hour news channel and the entertainment channel SABC Encore. The SABC confirmed on Tuesday that it is still pushing to reach an agreement regarding the "must carry" regulations. In 2008, the Independent Communications Authority of SA introduced the "must carry" regulations, which compel pay-TV companies to carry the SABC’s free-to-air channels — SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 — in support of universal access.

However, the SABC now wants MultiChoice to pay to carry the three channels, saying the private broadcaster has benefited from the channels as they are among the most watched on DStv. The SABC has been struggling to pay its bills,...

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