Communications regulator Icasa has announced that it intends launching a probe into South Africa’s pay-television market after various attempts in recent years to introduce competition to dominant operator MultiChoice, which owns DStv, failed.
The authority is not saying much yet, but has promised to reveal more at a press conference to be held on Friday in Sandton.
“The purpose of the inquiry is to, among others, define the relevant wholesale and retail markets or market segments in the subscription television broadcasting sector,” Icasa said.
The probe will take into account the relationship with and the impact from adjacent markets (free-to-air broadcasting services, new technologies, and so on) and try to determine whether there is effective competition, it said.
“The authority has observed the failure of new market entrants to commence with licensed activities in this market and noted that only two subscription broadcasters operate despite several having been licensed,” it said.
Apart from MultiChoice, the only other pay-TV operator in South Africa is On Digital Media (parent of StarSat), which is just emerging from years of being under business rescue.
The fact that new licensees have not launched “highlights concerns of competition in the subscription television broadcasting market, which appears not to be functioning effectively”. — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media