The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has announced it will launch an investigation into South Africa’s subscription television broadcasting market.
“ICASA has the responsibility to ensure that all communications and broadcasting service markets are open, competitive, and sustainable,” said ICASA.
It said the investigation is meant to address concerns raised by industry stakeholders, and is a way for ICASA to determine why so few subscription TV services have launched in South Africa.
“Despite multiple attempts to introduce competition in the subscription broadcasting market, only two licensees have been able to launch services.”
ICASA is referring to players like TopTV, which applied for business rescue in 2012, was bought by StarTimes, and renamed to StarSat.
“The two entrants have been plagued with sustainability challenges and the others not yet begun operations.”
ICASA said it will:
- Gather information through stakeholder questionnaires, meetings, and written submissions.
- Publish a discussion document for public comments.
- Publish a findings document.
There will also be a period for stakeholders to ask questions, and an FAQ document will be published.
ICASA said it expects the discussion document to be published before the end of September 2016.
The entire process is scheduled to be finished before the end of the current financial year, provided stakeholders hold to the deadline.
“Effective stakeholder participation is a key element of the process and its successful outcomes,” said ICASA.