Durban - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) believes the likelihood that MultiChoice will renew ANN7’s contract next year is “very slim”.
Outa chief executive Wayne Duvenage said MultiChoice would have to make the decision soon because the news agency’s contract was coming up for renewal in June next year.
Duvenage recently penned an open letter to MultiChoice chief executive Mark Rayner, calling for the pay TV market leader to “do the right thing” and heed the call by civil society to stop broadcasting the Guptas-founded news channel.
In his letter, Duvenage said the recent actions by various banking institutions and the JSE to cease doing business with Guptas-owned companies was sufficient for DStv to review its “business as usual” stance with ANN7.
Gugu Masinga, the marketing manager for ANN7, said the commercial relationship between Infinity Media and DStv was private and confidential.
“Suffice to say, at the appropriate time next year, Infinity Media would engage DStv on the renewal of the contract,” she said.
MultiChoice responded on Monday with a statement.
“We have a legally binding channel carriage contract for the ANN7 channel. We cannot comment on the terms of the contract (including the duration of the agreement) as it is subject to confidentiality clauses.
“As we have stated previously, DStv is a platform that relays many local and international news channels, representing a wide spectrum of views (eg SABC News, eNCA, ANN7, CNN, Sky News and many others). We don’t have editorial control or any involvement in running the operations of any of these news channels, including ANN7,” the statement said.
On Twitter, advocacy group for press freedom, Right2Know, said the call to take ANN7 off the airwaves was wrong.
“Whatever your views on the company, the people of SA should be empowered and trusted to choose our sources of news. No media corporation should enjoy special support of the state, as ANN7 and The New Age seem to. But that is different from wanting them off the airwaves altogether,” the tweet stated.