Pay-TV inquiry probes the Multichoice monopoly

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15 January 2021, Mail & Guardian, Sarah Smit

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird said that though MultiChoice may have a monopoly within the local market, increasingly powerful global players, like Netflix, present “a genuine threat”. Pitting MultiChoice against OTTs “is not even a fair fight”, he said.

In a prior submission, MMA said that the threat of new platforms does not detract from Icasa’s mandate to ensure fair competition in the subscription television market.

“We are of the view that Icasa must ensure that this inquiry continues to focus on the subscription television market in which MultiChoice clearly and unambiguously enjoys a monopoly.”

Bird said on Wednesday that the outcome of the inquiry should not serve the interests of those in power but the public’s interests. Without a sustainable local content sector, the public will likely lose out, he said.

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