MultiChoice plans to drop the Gupta-backed news channel ANN7 from DStv when its contract expires in June 2018.
This is according to the Rapport newspaper, citing sources in the broadcasting industry.
According to the report, the decision was made following numerous meetings between MultiChoice and advisers.
It follows a public outcry after the revelation that MultiChoice is paying at least R50 million per year to broadcast ANN7.
A contract between MultiChoice and Applewood Trading 206 for ANN7 was revealed in the Gupta Leaks.
The “Third Channel Amendment Agreement” between MultiChoice and Infinity Media Networks, dated 9 June 2014, also emerged in the leaks.
The agreement was amended to increase the annual fee for ANN7 from R50 million per year to R150 million. MultiChoice would also not have the right to cancel ANN7 should it not perform well.
MultiChoice said “the draft contract published was not signed” and it was not part of the leaked email exchange.
The company did not reveal how much it pays for ANN, but confirmed it has a contract with the channel.
The news sparked a public campaign to convince DStv subscribers to cancel their subscriptions in protest.
According to Rapport, the decision to drop ANN7 was driven by concerns that MultiChoice and DStv will be harmed through their association with the Gupta family.
Biased content on ANN7, the channel being used for vendettas against individuals, and the quality of shows were also concerns.
One source said MultiChoice wanted to drop ANN7 earlier, but was concerned about a court battle.
MyBroadband asked MultiChoice for comment regarding the decision to drop ANN7, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.
MultiChoice told Rapport ANN7’s owners did not approach it to renew the contract, and there are currently no negations regarding the matter.
Infinity Media, which now owns ANN7, told the City Press that it does not believe “MultiChoice would discuss confidential contractual issues with third parties as it would be unethical to do so”.
Update – MultiChoice responds
MultiChoice said it has noted the report in City Press and reinforced that it has a channel contract with ANN7 – which includes confidentiality clauses.
“We have not been approached by the owners of ANN7 for the renewal of the contract and we are not in negotiations for the renewal of that contract,” it said.
“Timelines for negotiations for the renewal of contracts vary from contract to contract and are dictated by different situations and circumstances.”
“We are furthermore unable to cancel a contract prior to its expiry unless there is a clear breach of that contract.”