The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has launched an inquiry into the country’s subscription television services.
It says it wants to define what constitute’s pay television in South Africa and the effect it has on adjacent markets including free-to-air services and new technologies.
South Africa has two operators; Multichoice/DSTV and StarSat, the former Top TV. There’s concern within the body at how few players there are in the market despite several being licensed.
“It is important for the Authority to understand the challenges faced by new market entrants so that it can address the regulatory impediments where required, and create an enabling environment for the introduction of competition,” said committee chair Katharina Pillay. “The Digital Terrestrial TV environment will create new opportunities for market entry. However, the opportunities can only be exploited in a market that enables competition.”
Multichoice owner Naspers has this week announced a freeze on prices as it feels the pressure from cash-strapped survivors on the continent as a whole.