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A TV licence may seem cheap but for a child support grant dependant that's a lot

20 October 2020 6:16 PM
Tags:
SABC
Multichoice
Netflix
William Bird
SABC TV licence

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird says a to be a public broadcaster and a commercial entity isn't sustainable.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has proposed a number of changes to South Africa’s TV licences as it continues to battle with revenue collection.

In a presentation to Parliament’s portfolio committee on Tuesday (20 October), the national broadcaster said that it needs a number of key regulatory reforms to remain viable in South Africa’s changing media environment.

The proposals come after meetings between the SABC, Sentech and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), presented by the Department of Communications.

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird unpacks this.

For the past 15 years we have been saying we need a better funding model for the SABC. The fact that we are expected to be a public broadcaster and at the same time we are expected to operate as a commercial entity in the same breath isn't sustainable. This is a big problem around the world. We've seen in the UK the biggest cust to the BBC. We've seen similar things n places like Sweden. This is not an unusual problem.

William Bird, Director Media Monitoring Africa

The key issue is how do we pay for them. One of those suggestions is to say: Look, these new entities that are coming on board should make some kind of contribution to the public broadcaster and I think that is probably a good idea.

William Bird, Director Media Monitoring Africa

The SABC, by millions, is the biggest in terms of listenership because they're broadcasting in African languages and they've got bigger footprints, they really are reaching out to the people that by and large have little access to the media and don't generally have access to the internet. It is essential for them to have access at least to the public broadcaster.

William Bird, Director Media Monitoring Africa

TV licences are always a difficult thing. For the middle-class like us that amount of R293 a year or whatever it is now it's not a lot of money if you're someone who is living on a child support grant, that's a huge amount of money to be expected to pay in order to access TV.

William Bird, Director Media Monitoring Africa

Listen below for the full interview...


20 October 2020 6:16 PM
Tags:
SABC
Multichoice
Netflix
William Bird
SABC TV licence

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