Analysis done by industry experts has shown that in South Africa, both the DStv and Openview pay-TV platforms have been dropping channels even as they have been increasing subscription prices.
According to the independent analysis seen by BMA, DStv has – in the last five months – cancelled seven channels and lost the Russia Today channel due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The broadcaster has also removed four e.TV channels from its bouquet resulted in eMedia taking MultiChoice to the Competition Tribunal to try and force the broadcaster to keep its channels.
eMedia stated that MultiChoice’s actions amounted to a refusal to sell a service and maintained that their channels’ presence on their platform contributed 21.9 per cent of eMedia’s advertising revenue.
However, MultiChoice told the Commission that it had limited satellite capacity and would only have space for 11 channels after cancelling the four eTV channels.
The Openview platform has cancelled seven channels during the same period, but it has also added ten more, including Afrikaans channel ePlesier and The Home Channel +.
Pay-TV operators do regularly review their channel offering based on broadcasting licencing negotiations, viewership research, and what the broadcaster determines offers the best value to its viewers.