THE BIG READ
MultiChoice frets over TV revolution
Icasa hearings add to online streaming woes for pay-TV giant
When the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa begins its public hearings into pay-TV, central to which is the dominance of MultiChoice, it will have to consider if it is not more than a decade too late for an industry fast moving away from satellite broadcasting and onto the digital frontier. It's this shift that has the Naspers-owned pay-TV operator facing an existential crisis amid a barrage of fresh competition in the form of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. Competition that the pay-TV owner, launched 22 years ago, has never faced in a South African market where it has dominated the likes of e.tv and state broadcaster SABC.MultiChoice's CEO for South Africa, Calvo Mawela, argues that a pay-TV inquiry may have been warranted 15 years ago but not now, given how viewing habits are changing. "Competitive constraints are there already and there's no need for any intervention," he said. He insists that the group is not abusing its dominance, and says DStv's price incr...