BMA had recently reported that as of 1 April 2022, DSTV would remove eTV channels from the pay-tv subscription. This week, MultiChoice reported that they will no longer remove eMedia’s set of four TV channels from their platform. However, the channels are said to remain for an additional two months, following a channel carriage fight between the two companies.
The case is now being presented before the Competition Tribunal.
Channel carriage agreement fights between channel operators and distributors have increased in recent years. Channel distributors demand more money per subscriber for successful channels, while pay-TV operators refuse to pay more in their bid to make money; on the other hand, operators need to offer compelling content for their subscribers.
However, channel acquisition fights rarely occur in South Africa’s pay-TV space.
Furthermore, channel carriage fights will certainly become frequent in South Africa and play out more publicly, as we have seen. This is due to pressure in traditional pay-TV, and pay-TV operators like MultiChoice and China’s StarTimes in Africa strive to maintain a collection of TV channels in their bundled offerings and keep carriage fees low.
MultiChoice has since taken down the channel cancellation notice on eMovies (DStv 138), eMovies Extra (DStv 140), eExtra (DStv 195) and eToonz (DStv 311) channels, as they were meant to be switch-off at the end of March 2022. This comes after MultiChoice’s decision not to renew its contract with eMedia Investments.
In good faith, MultiChoice opted to keep the eTV news channel eNCA (DStv 403) and eTV (DStv 194) also from eMedia under a different contract that also included the weekly eNuus Afrikaans TV news bulletin packaged by eNCA and supplied to M-Net’s kykNET (DStv 144) and kykNET & Kie (DStv 145) channels.
eMedia has approached the Competition Tribunal to get MultiChoice to keep carrying eMovies, eMovies eExtra, eExtra and eToonz.
When we approached eMedia for a comment, the channel stated that eExtra, eToonz, eMovies, and eMovies Extra will remain on DStv until further notice.
Itumeleng Thulare, MultiChoice spokesperson, said, “Even with negotiating and signing the new channel carriage agreement, eMedia filed an application to force MultiChoice to continue carrying the four channels.”