ICASA wants Multichoice monopoly broken up

Last week South Africa’s media regulator ICASA issued its proposals on how the mighty Multichoice/DStv “dominant position” in the market might be softened. ICASA issued six possible remedies, and has invited stakeholders to respond by October 31st.

The proposals include limiting contract lengths to five years, and possibly forcing unbundling rules on broadcasters, and following the European pattern ensuring more than one successful bidder.

It also suggests that rights-holders, especially for sports, might be forced to allow access to competing broadcasters. ICASA specifically mentioned the Ofcom rules imposed on UK broadcasters over sports rights, and in particular referenced the possibility of separating ‘broadcasting’ and broadband access.

ICASA also said another option would be to force interoperability with set-top boxes.

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