ICASA invites new DTT channels

South Africa’s media regulator ICASA is inviting applications from broadcasters wishing to apply for multiplex spectrum on the nation’s third (MUX-3) DTT service.

ICASA initially made a similar announcement back in September 2015 but did not issue licences.

MultiChoice is already operating one of the available multiplexes for its GOtv system.

Multiplexer 3 (MUX-3) is designed to provide additional commercial subscription TV channels, and ICASA says the successful applicant will be allocated 45 per cent of MUX 3 capacity with which to launch pay-TV services.

  • Among the criteria to qualify for the spectrum are (according to the official application guidelines):
    The applicant must be a television broadcasting service licensee, as defined in the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations.
    The applicant must have a minimum of 30 per cent ownership held by historically disadvantaged person(s), or have a level 4 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funding in place, and there is an obligation to start transmissions within 2 years of a licence being granted. Once a launch date has been agreed the successful applicant must guarantee to cover 50 per cent of the distribution network within two years.

Closing date for applications is January 25th 2018.

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