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Icasa to ‘reboot’ long-running probe of pay TV


Despite kicking off an investigation into South Africa’s pay-television market nearly six years in the past, communications regulator Icasa stated on Monday that it nonetheless wants extra time to probe the sector and give you potential rules.

Icasa’s inquiry into the subscription broadcasting companies market will proceed into the present monetary 12 months, it’s council has resolved. The regulator stated in a press release on Monday that its determination relies on “ongoing developments in what is a rapidly changing market”.

“This extension builds upon and will update and refine the work undertaken in the consultation process by the authority during the 2021/2022 financial year. However, the authority — upon considering the draft findings emanating from the inquiry — is of the view that further consultation and engagement with stakeholders is required,” it stated.

Icasa chairman Keabetswe Modimoeng stated any regulatory intervention should have in mind coverage developments in addition to latest technological and market developments, together with the entry of streaming video platforms. The South African market, which was as soon as dominated by a single participant, MultiChoice Group, in subscription video companies, now has a variety of native and worldwide streaming merchandise to select from, together with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BritBox, Showmax, eVOD and the soon-to-be-launched Disney+.

“The authority is mindful that any regulation of the market and/or its market segments must be aimed at enhancing competitiveness in the market going forward,” Icasa stated. “The extended consultation process will include, among other things, the publication of a questionnaire to solicit comments and information from interested stakeholders (that will take into account the work emanating from the 2021/2022 financial year inquiry).”

Hearings

Icasa stated it plans to publish an up to date dialogue doc and to conduct public hearings “to come to a conclusive determination of subscription TV market dynamics going forward”.

“The rebooting of this process is meant to enable the authority to take account of all relevant and current developments to inform a robust, forward-looking regulatory intervention that balances interests of consumers and stability of the broadcasting services market,” stated Modimoeng within the assertion.

Icasa first started an official probe into the pay-TV market in 2016.  — © 2022 NewsCentral Media



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