On Digital Media: Licence transfer abandoned, for now

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On Digital Media (ODM), which launched TopTV four years ago, has withdrawn a regulatory application to transfer its broadcast licence to StarTimes, the new owner. The process would hold up the business rescue of TopTV, which was renamed StarSat in December, ODM chief executive Eddie Mbalo said. “The delays experienced in obtaining Icasa’s [Independent Communications Authority of SA] approval for the transfer of the licence have been significant and have caused major frustration to the progress of the business rescue,” ODM said in a progress report on Friday. Several court applications by activist groups opposing the award of three new channels to ODM to flight adult content and an application by minority shareholders to interdict implementation of the business rescue plan have delayed the rescue. Mbalo said the licence could be transferred at a later stage. Rival MultiChoice told Business Day, which published the story on Friday, that the licence transfer would be unlawful. Icasa spokesman Paseka Maleka would not comment on that statement. – Asha Speckman

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