DStv, SABC news channel to cost R553-million: report

Plans to launch a 24-hour SABC news channel via DSTV by August 1 are on track, the two organisations said on Friday.

However, neither would comment on a report in the Mail & Guardian that MultiChoice Africa would pay the SABC a fee of R553 million over five years.

The contract reportedly stipulates that the SABC will provide a news and an entertainment channel.

DSTV corporate affairs general manager Jackie Rakitla said: “The agreement is subject to a confidentiality clause so we can’t comment on terms.”

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago echoed this, saying: “We are not at liberty to expose the content of that agreement.”

The M&G said broadcasting experts estimated etv’s 24-hour news channel cost between R250m to R300m a year to produce.

This, they said, cast doubt on whether the SABC would be able to fund the two channels on the R100m a year being set aside for them.

The SABC was given a R1 billion government-guaranteed loan in 2009 to assist with its financial problems.

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DStv, SABC news channel to cost R553-million: report