OpenView HD, the new free-to-air satellite service from E-tv sister company Platco Digital, does not have permission to include SABC 1, 2, and 3 in its bouquet of channels.
This is according to a strongly worded press statement issued by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday, 19 September 2013.
In the statement, SABC makes special mention of the agreement it has in place to broadcast on Sentech’s rebranded Vivid platform, which is to be called “Freevision” from the end of September.
“The corporation therefore appeals to OpenView HD not to confuse the public, with false advertising of their services,” the SABC said.
This curious turn of events comes after Platco refuted statements by shadow minister of communications, Marian Shinn, when she said that the SABC declined to broadcast on OpenView HD.
According to Shinn, the SABC was offered the prime first three channels on OpenView HD at discounted rates, but the SABC turned down the offer.
Shinn appealed to Minister of Communications, Yunus Carrim, to clarify why the SABC turned down Platco’s offer yet was willing to get a R1.4-billion loan from National Treasury to broadcast its new 24-hour news channel on DStv.
The SABC’s full statement is reproduced below:
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) categorically refutes a statement made by the newly launched satellite television service, Open view HD where they claim that they will carry SABC television channels 1, 2 and 3 on their bouquet.
The SABC acknowledges the growing digital television broadcasting environment in the country, however the Open View HD pronouncement that SABC television channels will form part of their bouquet is not true, as the public service broadcaster does not have any agreement with the newly launched satellite television service. The public service broadcaster views this matter in a serious light, as the said satellite provider is misleading the public.
It is imperative to note that the SABC and signal distributer SENTECH have reached an agreement to have SABC channels on a free-to-air basis on the SENTECH Universal Access Direct To Home satellite (DTH-S) platform by the end of September 2013. The corporation therefore appeals to Open View HD not to confuse the public, with false advertising of their services.
Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC Acting Chief Operations Officer (ACOO) said “As the SABC we are willing to give an ear to all possibilities that will see the public service broadcaster grow and change the lives of all South Africans, however we will not allow anyone to use the SABC’s name falsely to advance their business interest.”
The SABC appeals to Open View HD to withdraw its statements and pronouncements immediately. The SABC reserves all its rights in this regard.