[PRESS OFFICE] eMedia embraces the heroism and determined spirit displayed by the Springbok rugby team and Proteas cricket team during the current rugby and cricket World Cup tournaments.
We have taken issue with the attempts by MultiChoice to bully the SABC in preventing a portion of the South African population from being able to access and view these events on Openview.
We have lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission and we have filed papers before the Competition Tribunal in respect of the provision in the sub licensing agreements concluded between MultiChoice and the SABC.
This prevents the SABC from utilising third-party owned platforms to transmit SABC channels which broadcast national sporting events.
MultiChoice’s conduct in this regard is particularly shocking, because it has sub-licensed these rights to the SABC (the public broadcaster) and accordingly the SABC should not be prevented from utilising whichever platforms it selects in order to broadcast programming to the broader public.
This conduct undermines digital migration and the millions of viewers who have chosen Openview as a means to digitally migrate. As well as the SABC’s ability to monetise the investment it has made in sub-licensing the rights from MultiChoice.
MultIChoice is also clearly intent on preventing the merits of these matters being ventilated in the courts and employs delaying tactics to avoid these issues being decided by the courts.
In order to ensure that there are high levels of transparency around these issues, we have attached to this media release a full set of the papers that we have filed in the Competition Tribunal.
We believe that it is in the national interest that these issues are dealt with as soon as possible and that there are no undue delays in the merits of these matters being ventilated fully.
National sporting events are part of our nation building process. Accordingly, MultiChoice’s tactics and behaviour is simply designed to entrench its dominant position in the television broadcasting sector in South Africa at the expense of the broader public in order to harm its competitors.
This should not be countenanced.
We will continue to take the fight to MultiChoice – and we are inspired on a daily basis by the heroic and unbeatable spirit of our national sporting teams.