Must Carry Amendment Regulations Submission

Broadcast policy experts, where are you? We’d love to pick your brain! The IPO consulted to the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) who backed the public broadcaster at the Must Carry Amendment Regulations public hearings in June.  
 
The Must Carry Regulations have been in operation in South Africa since 2008 and is commonly used as a tool by policy makers and regulators to promote universal access to public service broadcasting programming and to ensure media diversity. SABC channels have been available on the DStv platform and are therefore accessible to viewers who are not covered by terrestrial signal, However the SABC argues that this means they are not able to monetise content on DStv platforms.
 
The public broadcaster wants subscription broadcasting services such as MultiChoice and StarSat to no longer be allowed to carry its public broadcasting service channels, SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3, without entering into commercial agreements.
 
MultiChoice says no advertising revenue is paid to them for these channels but rather the R569 million a year in advertising revenue from the three channels carried on its DStv platforms is paid directly to SABC. They also argue that there is no legal basis for needing to pay SABC for these channels.
 
Free-to air e.tv wants Icasa’s must carry regulations not to be limited to public service broadcasting licensees such as SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 but to be extended to other commercial free-to air broadcasters with public service obligations like it.
 
A supplementary submission on two issues were raised at the Must Carry Amendment Regulations has been requested before 21 July 2021 and the first question is one that will directly affect us as producers:

  • Provide further detail on how the independent production sector will benefit from proceeds of “must carry/ must pay” in light of the proposals for the formation of the digital fund by the AAVCS draft White Paper. Should ICASA play a role in the distribution of the said proceeds, bearing the provisions of s2(y) of the ECA in mind
  • Provide further details on the issue of dispute resolution during commercial negotiations.

Should you be available to input into the submission, please email admnistrator@ipo.org.za