New SABC iPlayer plans revealed

The SABC has provided details about its planned over-the-top (OTT) media streaming platform in a new Request for Information (RFI) document published on 30 October.

The state broadcaster has been planning to launch a video and audio streaming services to compete against players like Netflix and Spotify for a while.

SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo recently told MyBroadband their planned video and audio streaming services are in line with the industry trends and consumer needs.

The state broadcaster has now published an RFI calling for “information for the provision of an over-the top (OTT) Media Streaming Platform”.

The SABC said it is working on implementing its digital strategy that will allow it to provide different service offerings with the introduction and use of an SABC owned OTT streaming platform.

Through the RFI the SABC aims to understand what OTT platforms are available in the market and how they must be deployed and operated.

“The SABC is working towards having a presence in the OTT space and this RFI brings the SABC a step closer to achieving this goal,” it said.

Over the past few years, the SABC has relied on YouTube, websites, and social media platforms to publish its content.

“Unfortunately, these platforms do not allow the SABC to be competitive enough and to monetize content to its fullest marketing value,” the broadcaster said.

“Part of the digital strategy is to implement an OTT streaming platform that will allow it to enter the OTT market effectively by providing different offerings to the public with ease of access, similar to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify.”

SABC iPlayer

Through the RFI the SABC is gathering information to allow the broadcaster to launch:

  • An SABC Mobile Application, called the SABC iPlayer, which is envisaged to be the OTT application used to consume TV and radio content.
  • Streaming technology, including backend hardware, software, and licenses, which will enable the SABC to provide streaming feeds to multiple destination points.

The planned SABC iPlayer will host 7 TV channels and 19 radio stations and have “freemium and premium models”.

The SABC added that it must be scalable and must allow for additional TV channels and radio stations to be added.

Other features of the planned SABC iPlayer are likely to include:

  • Live streaming
  • Catch-up service
  • Video On Demand (VOD)
  • Audio On Demand (AOD)
  • Pop up channels for both Radio and TV
  • Multiple user profiles
  • Single sign-on feature
  • Offline viewing of content
  • Integrated digital marketing
  • Network Personal Video Recorder (nPVR)

On the business side, the SABC has asked for details on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Digital Advertising
  • Analytics and reports
  • POPIA and Consumer Protection Act
  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG)
  • Close captioning
  • Audio descriptors
  • Recommendation engine
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Content management
  • Auditing trail
  • E-Commerce

The SABC is also looking for details about a payment gateway and details about security around its iPlayer.

In its RFI, the SABC said it wants the ability to stream to multiple SABC platforms and multiple screens, including websites, social media, mobile applications, IP TV/Radio, gaming consoles, set-top box, and advertising screens.

The SABC highlighted that its currently available compression rates are 384kbps for audio and 720×608 and 1,920 x 1,080 for video.

It wants its player needs to allow for different adaptive streaming rates settings and estimated data usage for 1080p, 720p, 576p, and 360p.

The full SABC Request for Information (RFI) document is provided below.


SABC Request for Information for Provision of OTT (Over-the-Top) Media Streaming Platform


Now read: SABC to take on Netflix and Spotify with its own streaming services

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New SABC iPlayer plans revealed