ICASA To Review “Must Carry” TV Regulations

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SABC
SABC / eHowzit

The country’s communications watchdog, ICASA, to review regulations that allow Multichoice, Openview and other subscription broadcasters to carry SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 for free.

The regulations are known as the “Must Carry” and passed in 2008.

These regulations ensure that all subscription broadcasters with more than 30 channels “must carry” the SABC’s three free-to-air television channels.

The regulations state that the SABC “must offer its television programmes, at no cost,” to subscription broadcasters.

As the result, the SABC is not generating any revenue from these regulations.

ICASA announced on Wednesday morning that it is conducting a regulatory impact assessment on Must-Carry Regulations following the implementation of these regulations in 2008.

“The regulatory impact assessment will determine whether or not the Regulations have fulfilled their intended objectives; by looking at both economic and non-economic factors.”

ICASA said it has issued a questionnaire requesting data (from interested stakeholders) that will assist it in making an informed decision whether or not to review the regulations.

Interested stakeholders have until 26 October 2018 to send back the questionnaire for consideration.

These regulations are a part of the universal service and access obligation imposed on subscription television services, driven by a policy objective of ensuring that Public Broadcast Service Licensee television programming is available to all South Africans, including those that use subscription services as their preferred means of access to television content.

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