The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will broadcast its free-to-air channels as well as the recently launched SABC 24 hour news channel from a Sentech satellite platform by the end of September, the public broadcaster announced this week.
“As the SABC our primary focus is to create universal access for all South African citizens, in line with our mandate as a public service broadcaster,” said acting chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
He said the launch of SABC services on the Universal Access Direct To Home satellite (DTH-S) platform would help the SABC further this objective.
“In addition to the 4.5 million subscribers on the DStv platform, the SABC News channel will now also be available to 1.7 million households, which is in excess of five million viewers, who have previously not been able to receive any SABC television services on a free-to-air basis,” Motsoeneng said.
The Universal Access DTH-S platform was created to enable reception of broadcasting services, and in particular, public broadcasting services, to areas where there is no access to normal terrestrial services. The inclusion of the SABC channels on this platform will ensure that more people have an opportunity to receive SABC programming.
Motsoeneng said the launch of these services would address concerns that the the SABC’s news channel, currently only accessible on the DStv platform, is available to the public.
Motsoeneng said it was important to note that this launch would not replace Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) but would supplement it.
Sentech’s chief operating officer, Kganki Matabane, said both organisations share a “common public service mandate to ensure that all public broadcasting services are available to all South African citizens”.
Sentech will manage the distribution channel for the DTH-S set-top boxes, which will be required for access to the services. The SABC will also add other two channels to this platform as soon as they are ready.
IMAGE: SABC Buildings / Wikimedia Creative Commons