In South Africa, a Competition Appeals Court has overturned an earlier decision by the Competition Tribunal that saw the termination of four of eMedia’s channels on MultiChoice’s DStv platform.
The Competition Appeal court delivered a victory to e.TV, parent eMedia Holdings, on Monday (1 Aug) in its fight with MultiChoice Group.
This is pending the final determination of the complaint, which the appeal court has referred to the Competition Commission for further investigation.
The appeal court ordered MultiChoice to reinstate the channels removed from its DStv platform at the end of May, in which MultiChoice terminated the channels immediately upon receiving the tribunal’s decision.
As a result, eMedia urged that the unannounced switch-off left them without sufficient time to communicate to viewers.
eMedia channels that were cut and must be reinstated pending the commission’s investigation are eToonz, eMovies, eMovies Extra and e.tv Extra.
According to BMA sources, MultiChoice has also been ordered to pay eMedia’s legal costs for the appeal, including the cost of two counsels.
In April, eMedia dragged MultiChoice to the tribunal court to seek relief after a renewed channel supply agreement between the parties saw DStv opting not to carry the four channels.
eMedia claimed in a statement at the time that “No reasons were given for the ruling by the Competition Tribunal. The unannounced switch-off also left eMedia without sufficient time to communicate to viewers. As a result, viewers are angry and disappointed that they can no longer see their programmes via the DStv platform.”
In response to the ruling, a spokesman for MultiChoice said: “We are aware of the decision made by the competition appeal court in favour of eMedia. We are considering the court’s decision to grant the order requiring us to carry the four eMedia channels for six months while the Competition Commission conducts its investigation.”