Independent Online

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Icasa wants answers on the removal of Russia Today on DSTV

THE Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will be seeking answers on the discontinuation of Russia TV, also known as RT, channel on the DSTV platform. File Photo:Twitter @RT_com

THE Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will be seeking answers on the discontinuation of Russia TV, also known as RT, channel on the DSTV platform. File Photo:Twitter @RT_com

Published Mar 3, 2022

Share

Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) said it would be seeking answers on the discontinuation of Russia TV, also known as RT, channel on the DSTV platform.

“Our Licensing and Compliance Division has not received any notification by Multichoice confirming the discontinuation of the channel on its DSTV platform,” said Icasa chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said it is in the public interest to know the reasons for the discontinuation of RT, since the authorisation was approved by Icasa.

“Given the underlying principle of the South African broadcasting system for promoting plurality of views, it is only prudent for Icasa to enquire with DSTV on the rationale for the discontinuation of the RT channel,” Modimoeng said.

He said Icasa continues to monitor the developments regarding this matter.

On Wednesday, Icasa said it had noted various media queries, reports as well as social media postings in relation to the discontinuation of the Russian broadcaster.

“Indeed, Icasa has since noted the discontinuation of RT, DSTV Channel 407 until further notice. The authority would like to put it on record that the broadcast of RT on the DSTV platform is and continues to be a commercial agreement between the subscription TV broadcaster, Multichoice and RT,” Modimoeng said.

He said the authority’s role in the broadcasting of RT has been solely limited to channel authorisation as submitted by the licensee, Multichoice, and approved by Icasa prior to the channel being introduced to the South African audience.

Story continues below Advertisement

This is a regulatory requirement fulfilled by the licensee before introducing any new channel for consumption by the South African public.

MultiChoice froze RT on its broadcasting platform on Wednesday. The move comes after the EU banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc.

“Sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union has led to the global distributor of the channel ceasing to provide the broadcast feed to all suppliers, including MultiChoice,” said a MultiChoice spokesperson.

Story continues below Advertisement

Netflix Inc has also temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, Variety reported on Wednesday.

Russia has been facing boycott in the film and TV industry. The Cannes film festival issued a statement on Tuesday, saying it would ban official Russian delegations from its festival this year, unless the Ukraine conflict ends.

IOL

Story continues below Advertisement

Share