Even when South Africa has completed the switch-off of analogue television broadcasting signals as part of the long-delayed broadcasting digital migration project, the spectrum may still not be available for broadband operators.
Free-to-air satellite broadcaster OpenView is fast closing in on 1.5 million active set-top boxes, growing its customer base by 42% in the past 12 months.
The Competition Commission said on Monday that the controversial channel-supply agreement between MultiChoice and the SABC, signed in 2013, amounted to a merger.
A process called “digital restacking” could take up to two years to complete, delaying the allocation of prime radio frequency spectrum to telecommunications operators to 2022.
Communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane said government has set July 2020 as the firm and final deadline by which time analogue terrestrial television broadcasts must be switched off.
South Africa can complete the migration from analogue to digital television within a year, provided government adopts a mix of satellite and terrestrial broadcasting, according to eMedia Holdings CEO Andre van der Veen.
eMedia Holdings, which indirectly owns e.tv, OpenView HD and 24-hour news channel eNCA, has report a R1.6bn loss for the 2018 financial year, from a profit in 2017 of R160m. Revenue fell from R2.3bn to R2.2bn