File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

SABC to launch its own streaming service next year

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Oct 22, 2020

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Cape Town - Public broadcaster South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has plans to launch its own video on demand streaming service next year.

This comes after SABC said a regulation is needed that would require pay-TV service provider MultiChoice (DStv) and popular streaming service Netflix to collect TV licences on behalf of the broadcaster.

According to a Channel24 report, the streaming service will be similar to that of the BBC iPlayer and will work in the same way as the SABC News App.

“The SABC can confirm that it is planning to launch its video and audio streaming service with the ever-changing industry trends and consumer needs,” SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo told Channel24. “At this stage, the SABC is not in a position to provide more detail, due to the commercial sensitivity of the information.”

In a presentation on Tuesday to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications by Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana, the public broadcaster said the “outdated” definition of a TV licence needs to be adapted to fit current technologies.

Kekana indicated that TV licences could be expanded to include other devices and not only TVs.

The SABC said that such a regulation would be similar to municipalities collecting traffic fines and motor vehicle licence disks.

“How do we, through Icasa, make sure that they too are able to assist us to collect TV licences but we are not only limiting it to TV? We also have other platforms where people consume content and in all of those areas that is where we should look at how we are able to get SABC licence fees from those gadgets,” Kekana said.

In summary, this means that the SABC wants users who watch content on laptops and smartphones to also pay licence fees.


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