eMedia Holdings, the parent of Openview and e.tv, has filed papers against MultiChoice in the high court, MultiChoice confirmed to TechCentral on Sunday.
This is after Openview published full-page advertisements in various Sunday newspapers in which it hinted that it had taken the matter on review.
Apparently written in the form of a poem, the ad states: “The court is engaged, the court will decide if digitally migrated Openview homes will get to the Rugby World Cup. The court will decide if Openview homes, who must pay TV licences, get to see the Rugby World Cup on SABC 2.”
The full ad can be read below.
It’s not the first time that Openview and eMedia have taken aim at MultiChoice over the rugby rights.
Last month, when it emerged that MultiChoice’s sublicensing deal with the SABC prohibited the public broadcaster from carrying the games on Openview, a free-to-air satellite platform that carries the SABC channels, eMedia threatened legal action against the pay-TV broadcaster. This threat came even though it wasn’t party to the discussions with the SABC and MultiChoice over broadcasting the games from the World Cup.
In an open letter to MultiChoice on 8 September, eMedia first threatened court action. That letter, which copied in sports minister Zizi Kodwa, communications minister Mondli Gungubele, trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel and Competition Commission head Doris Tshepe , accused MultiChoice of forcing a deal on the SABC that “undermines consumer welfare and is contrary to the public interest”.
The article continues below…
The SABC reportedly paid US$2-million (about R38-million) that would allow it to broadcast 16 of the 48 Rugby World Cup games, including all matches involving the Springboks.
eMedia CEO Khalik Sherrif said in a statement about the SABC deal: “The anticompetitive action is nothing short of domination in trying to prescribe to the free-to-air partner on how to use its broadcasting rights. We believe the action should be strongly condemned and opposed. The 3.2 million households which have been affected by the decision should voice their dissatisfaction.”
A spokesman for MultiChoice said on Sunday that the company will oppose eMedia’s court challenge. “We are in receipt of the application served on us by eMedia. We consider the application to be without merit and have notified eMedia of our intention to oppose it.” — © 2023 NewsCentral Media