MultiChoice has announced a probe into the company’s deal with the formerly-Gupta-owned news channel ANN7.
It said its board is aware the ANN7 deal has caused public concern, due to allegations of corruption levelled at the former owners of the channel.
The allegations have negatively impacted MultiChoice, and its audit and risk committees will investigate as follows:
- Assess whether there has been any corporate governance failures at MultiChoice. Based on this, the MultiChoice board will take necessary action.
- Assess whether the total amount paid to ANN7 is comparable to payments made for other locally-produced channels, with consideration given to the estimated costs of running a news channel.
- Draw on expertise and skills necessary in order to fulfil the mandate given by the board.
MultiChoice’s board has requested that one of its members, Advocate Kgomotso Ditsebe Moroka, assist the audit and risk committees in this matter.
The probe follows a report that MultiChoice increased its fee to carry ANN7 from R50 million per year to R141 million per year in 2015.
MultiChoice said the contract to carry ANN7 was standard practice in the industry.
“The fee structure for the ANN7 contract is in line with the costs of developing and running such a channel, and ANN7 is definitely not the highest-paid local news channel on the DStv platform,” MultiChoice previously stated.