South Africa’s much-promised and long-delayed digital switch over risks being held up again. The problem on this occasion is a Court action by eTV, South Africa’s 5th terrestrial broadcaster.
The Pretoria High Court ruled November 6th that eTV could mount an appeal against the government’s DTT policy. The appeal would be before South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal. eTV says that if the unencrypted digital TV system is implemented, it will not be able to operate properly as it will be unable to protect the content it broadcasts.
The action, which has been running since 2013, sees eTV pitting itself against the country’s Department of Communications and the government’s policy of adopting non-encrypted set-top boxes. The latest thinking is that this further court action could delay implementation by up to a year.
South Africa has already ordered some 1.5 million boxes as part of a government scheme to subsidise viewing costs for about 5 million poorer households.