The SABC (South African Broadcasting Commission) in light of continued financial mismanagement has proposed a change to the structure of TV licences in South Africa. The national broadcaster presented key regulatory changes to parliament on the 20th of October. The regulatory changes are intended to keep the SABC viable in the ever-changing South African media environment.

The Coronavirus pandemic severely impacted the SABC’s cash collection methods. The SABC’s plans to get back on track include new marketing campaigns, campaigns to increase debit orders, as well as settlements of licence fees that are in arrears. Here are the main changes that the SABC proposed:

What are some of the changes proposed by the SABC? 

TV Licence Changes: 

Regulations around pay TV like DSTV and Netflix should change and have these platforms collect TV licences on behalf of the SABC. They also mention that the current definition of a TV licence is outdated and should be expanded to include other forms of devices, not just TV’s.

Must-Carry Rule Removal: 

This rule dictates that subscription broadcasters with more than 30 channels, must carry the SABC’s three free-to-air television channels. The regulation also dictates that the channels must be available at no cost. The SABC proposes that this rule change and allows them to negotiate with Pay-TV companies like Multichoice to pay for these channels.

Sports Rights:

The SABC also recommends that national sports rights should be made available to the SABC at a very affordable price.

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