[LISTEN] 'We should question how MultiChoice secured its monopoly of paid TV'

Journalism professor Anton Harber says questions should be asked about how MultiChoice secured its monopoly over paid television after 1994.

The company has recently become embroiled in revelations of a clandestine meeting it attended with former SABC board members and executives.

Earlier this week the Democratic Alliance published minutes of the SABC board meeting which shows that MultiChoice sought to pay the public broadcaster R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for its political influence over digital migration.

This is alongside allegations that the company paid Gupta-owned ANN7 millions of rand in exchange for similar influence over government's position on set-top boxes.

Stephen Grootes spoke to Wits University journalism professor Anton Harbor about what this means for MultiChoice and its operations.

There were changes in government policy made a couple of times in the last few years that seemed inexplicable and we had suspicions.

Anton Harber, journalism professor at Wits University

Harbor says this raises a number of questions about MultiChoice, and this has answered one about its influence on changes in government policy that were otherwise inexplicable in recent years,

But from the beginning of MultiChoice getting its license from the apartheid government, through to its relationship with the Gupta channel ANN7, I think there is questions to be asked about the way the company has been operating.

Anton Harber, journalism professor at Wits University

One of the questions to ask about Multichoice is how it secured its monopoly of paid television 15 years into democracy.... It is of major significance to media in this country because Naspers or Media24, its local newspaper and publishing arm, is by far dominant in the South African market by a long way and is subsidised by MultiChoice.

Anton Harber, journalism professor at Wits University

Click on the link below to hear more about Naspers and Multichoice's influence....


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