SABC wants ICASA to limit private TV revenue sources
July 27, 2021
By Chris Forrester
South Africa’s SABC public broadcaster is asking the country’s media regulator, the Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) to introduce new rules which limit the amount and scope of revenue that pay-TV operators can earn.
The SABC proposals cover advertising revenues as well as cash generated by infomercials, sponsorship and similar sources.
SABC says the existing regulations have not been modified since 1999 and since then there has been a slew of pay-TV and OTT streaming players each tapping into, says SABC, its core ad-based models.
It seems ICASA might agree. The chair of the authority’s advertising and sponsorship committee, Luthando Mkumatela, speaking on July 26th, said that with the rise of the Internet and digital streaming platforms such as Netflix, it was apparent that the regulations on advertising revenue needed an update.
SABC’s head of policy and regulatory affairs, Philly Moilwa, told a hearing that the public service broadcaster had even slimmer pickings in a space where DStv and e.tv were already getting a bigger slice of the pie from advertising. He argued that with up to 77 per cent of SABC’s revenue was flowing from advertising and sponsorships and that a slight change to the regulations should be measured against its impact as government grants only constitute 3 per cent of SABC’s funding.