ICASA says Multichoice has SMP in three subscription TV markets

Monday 15 April 2019 | 12:57 CET | News

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published the draft findings of the Inquiry into Subscription Television Broadcasting Services after a process that started in 2016. It said competition is ineffective in three of markets, namely retail distribution of basic tier subscription television services and satellite-based free-to-air television services; retail distribution of premium subscription TV services; and wholesale acquisition of premium content for distribution in South Africa. MultiChoice was found to have significant market power (SMP) in the markets that are characterised by ineffective competition.

Having considered the impact of over-the-top (OTT) services, ICASA found that these services are expanding in terms of the number of new entrants and the scale of operations, particularly international VoD providers. However, it found that the impact of OTTs is muted, given the limited access to broadband and/or internet services, the perceived high cost of data and low internet speeds.

ICASA found that there is a difference between premium and non-premium content, with the former being a fluid concept that is dependent on the circumstances prevailing at a particular point in time in a market, and specific to a geographical area, given the culture and preferences of the population at a certain point in time. The Draft Findings Document therefore identifies what is considered to be premium content based on the characteristics of the premium content. 

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Categories: Broadcast & Satellite
Companies: ICASA / MultiChoice
Countries: South Africa
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