With the long-awaited new pay- TV licences set to be announced on
Wednesday next week, the only existing player in the South African
market, MultiChoice, appears to be strongly defending its territory
ahead of the increased competition, writes Thom McLachlan in Business Day.

“What do you expect?” asked analyst at Renaissance Asset Management Khulekani Dlamini in response to talk that the company had tied up content in exclusive deals with at least two major channel providers.

“The fact that MultiChoice was the first into this market is not enough, it was expected that they would do whatever it took to defend their space,” he said.

It is thought that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) brought the pay-TV licensing announcement forward because leaving it any later would give MultiChoice sufficient time to sign up a list of exclusive deals with channel content providers for its satellite broadcasting platform DStv.

But, according to MultiChoice spokesman Jackie Rakitla, “it’s been business as usual” at Africa’s foremost satellite broadcaster. “There will be some channels that do have exclusive rights and some that don’t,” he said. The company had not done anything “sinister” in the way it had secured channels.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.