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DStv to broadcast certain sports events for free?

DStv sports monopoly being challenged

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is reviewing regulations around the broadcasting of sports. There is an expectation that the review could lead to some changes for DStv.

The review by ICASA is meant to regulate broadcasting of sporting events “in the public interest” and to promote wider reach of such events. The following events will be considered as being of national interest;

  • Confederation sporting events involving a national team or a national representative
  • Semi-final and final of a national knockout competition
  • An opening game, semi-final, and final of a confederation sporting event

ICASA also proposed the following list of sports that they deem to be of national interest;

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Summer Olympic GamesParalympics
FIFA World CupAfrican Cup of Nations
Rugby World CupICC Cricket World Cup
ICC T20 Cricket World ChampionshipsInternational Boxing Federations
Netball World CupCommonwealth Games
IAAF World Atheltic ChampionshipsSuper 15 Rugby
All Africa GamesCosafa Cup
CAF Champions LeagueCAF Confederations Cup
MTN 8Telkom Knockout
Nedbank CupCurrie Cup
TAFISA World Sport for All Games

It will be interesting to see if DStv takes this lying down. Multichoice pays to acquire rights for the above competitions so broadcasting matches from these compettions at no cost disincentivises consumers from subscribing. Whether that will be a big enough chunk to actually have a huge impact will be another thing.

This is also most likely to be a regulation that affects South African subscribers exclusively so that will also soften the blow for Multichoice.

The final position on these regulations is expected later this year – in Q3 of 2020.


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