The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has resolved that the consultation process in respect of the inquiry into the Subscription Broadcasting Services Market must be extended into the current financial year, based on ongoing developments in what is a rapidly changing market.
The extension will update and refine the work undertaken in the consultation process by the regulator during the 2021/ 2022 financial year.
The regulator said in a statement, “We are of the view that further consultation and engagement with stakeholders is required, as any regulatory intervention in this market ought to take account of current policy developments, and recent technological and market trends, including entry of complementary and competitive services introduced by OTT players.”
The empowering legislation provides that the regulator must assess the effectiveness of competition in those markets and market segments by identifying and defining relevant needs.
And also, the regulator must consider matters such as the non-transitory barriers to entry into the applicable markets or market segments and the dynamic character and functioning of the markets or market segments.
The regulator mentioned that it is mindful that any regulation of the market and its market segments must enhance competitiveness in the market from now on.
The extended consultation process will include the publication of a questionnaire to solicit comments and information from interested stakeholders. In addition, the regulator will conduct a full inquiry that provides for the publication of an updated discussion document and public hearings to determine the subscription TV market dynamics in the future.
The regulator concluded that this is another opportunity for all interested stakeholders, including consumers of subscription-based services and OTT content, to provide input to shape the regulatory intervention.