MultiChoice is moving quickly to commission a new 24-hour news channel on DStv, on Thursday asking interested parties to register their intention to bid. This comes just a week after the company said it would not renew its contract with the controversial formerly Gupta-owned ANN7 when it expires in August 2018.
“MultiChoice South Africa is inviting anyone interested in bidding for its proposed new 24-hour black-owned news channel, to register their intention to bid to produce and operate the channel,” it said in a statement. Interested parties can register their intention to bid on the company’s website.
The broadcaster, which owns DStv, M-Net, SuperSport and other brands, emphasised that the winning bidder must be black owned and produce a predominantly English-language news channel “that takes into account the history, diversity of cultural background, languages and socioeconomic circumstances in South Africa”.
The new channel must provide anchor-based, live broadcasts in the style of Al Jazeera, CNN, Sky News, eNCA and SABC News, it said. It must focus on national, regional, local and African news, actuality, current affairs and sport, with some focus on international affairs.
Other key criteria that bidders must consider include a focus on training and development of news and broadcast industry personnel, and the fostering of “strong ownership mentality with employees and partners through mechanisms such as employee equity and incentive schemes”.
The channel must be “independent, non-partisan, unbiased and critical”, it added, but the broadcaster will have no editorial control or ownership.
In return, the winning bidder can expect the channel to be “widely distributed” on the DStv bouquets and will receive funding from MultiChoice and “other sources”.
“This invitation is only to register an intention to bid, so MultiChoice can assess the level of interest. A further, formal invitation to submit bids with details of the process and further guidelines will be shared in mid-February.” — © 2018 NewsCentral Media