Multichoice and Sentech could remain the dominant forces in
pay-television at least until the end of next year, as licence
approvals are put on hold so as not to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œundermineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the communications
departmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s implementation of the digital migration strategy, writes Thom McLachlan in Business Day.
This could also mean applicants would have to wait for the end of a moratorium, or change their applications to utilise cable as opposed to satellite delivery, according to the departmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s draft strategy document released last week.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOther than the licensing of the existing subscriptions operators, MultiChoice, M-Net and the introduction of new cable-based subscription services, other subscription television services using spectrum, including satellite and terrestrial means, are not to be licensedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ and shall be subject to a moratorium until December 31 2008,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the document reads.
This is likely to entrench the power of the current players.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf the strategy is implemented it is likely to further entrench MultiChoiceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s status as dominant player in the pay-TV market and will also give Sentech time to set itself up as a market force with control over the countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s terrestrial-based broadcasting network,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Renaissance Specialist Fund Managers portfolio manager Khulekani Dlamini.
Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â