The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said it would investigate why the Russian TV channel, popularly known as RT, was no longer available on the DSTV platform.
ICASA chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng said, “Our Licensing and Compliance Division has not received any information from Multichoice confirming the channel’s discontinuance on its DSTV platform.”
Since ICASA gave the authorisation, he believes it is in the public interest to learn the reasons for the discontinuation of RT.
“Given the South African broadcasting system’s basic concept of encouraging a plurality of perspectives, it is only prudent for ICASA to inquire with DSTV about the rationale for the cessation of the RT channel,” Modimoeng stated.
He stated that ICASA is still keeping a close eye on the situation.
He stated that the authority’s role in the transmission of RT was confined to channel authorisation as presented by the licensee, Multichoice, and approved by ICASA before the channel was introduced to the South African audience.
The abovementioned is a regulatory criterion that the licensee must meet before introducing any new channel for public consumption in South Africa.
MultiChoice discontinued RT from its broadcasting platform on Wednesday. The move follows the EU’s decision to prohibit Russian state-run media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting.
“Due to European Union sanctions against Russia, the channel’s global distributor has stopped providing the broadcast feed to all providers, including MultiChoice,” a MultiChoice spokesperson said.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Netflix Inc has temporarily halted all future projects and acquisitions in the country, according to BMA Sources.
The cinema and television industries in Russia have been boycotted. On Tuesday, the Cannes Film Festival said that official Russian delegations would be barred from attending this year’s festival unless the Ukraine conflict is resolved.