ICASA has declined Etv’s request to stop broadcasting news in prime time.
ICASA spokesperson Paseka Maleka said the request was turned down following Etv’s application for an amendment to its licensing conditions to drop its prime time news broadcast.
ICASA published a notice about the application on 4 April 2016, inviting stakeholders to comment.
Following discussions between the SABC, Etv, and ICASA, a public hearing was set for 25 October 2016.
The SABC indicated it may also be interested in having its licence conditions amended so it was no longer required to broadcast news in prime time.
According to ICASA, the SABC did not formally submit an application.
Application turned down
ICASA said it considered sections of the Constitution, the Electronic Communication Act, the ICASA Act, and the position paper for the introduction of the first free-to-air private (commercial) television service in South Africa.
It also considered the regulatory impact of the amendment Etv requested.
“The Authority has taken a decision to refuse the licence amendment application by Etv,” it said.
ICASA said removing the news out of prime time would not be in the public interest, which is a key mandate for the regulator.