SABC channels will soon be broadcast on signal distributor Sentech’s direct to home satellite (DTH-S) platform, the two parties said on Monday
“The agreement will see the SABC providing SABC one, two and three as well as SABC News, which is currently airing on… DStv, while Sentech will manage the distribution channel for the DTH-S set-top boxes,” they said in a joint statement.
The set-top boxes would be required for access to the free-to-air channels.
“The SABC will also add other two channels to this platform as soon as they are ready,” they said.
“The launch of these services will also respond to the concern that the public service channel (SABC News) that is on the DStv pay television platform, should be available to the public.”
The service was expected to be launched near the end of September.
The DTH-S platform was created to enable reception particularly in areas where there was no access to normal terrestrial services.
This service would not replace the digital terrestrial television platform, which would be launched “later”, but would rather supplement it, they said.
SABC acting chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in the statement the broadcaster’s primary focus was to create universal assess for all South Africans.
“The launch of SABC services on the DTH-S platform will help us further this objective and provide a service to the public of South Africa,” he said.
“In addition to the 4.5 million subscribers on the DStv platform, the SABC News channel will now also be available to 1.7 million households… who have previously not been able to receive any SABC television services on a free-to-air basis.”
Sentech chief operating officer Kganki Matabane said: “Sentech and the SABC share a common public service mandate to ensure that all public broadcasting services are available to all South African citizens”.