The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has announced that it will seek to gather more information about developments in the pay-TV market in South Africa.
Icasa acting chair Yolisa Kedama said, “Following the public hearings held by the Authority from the 12th to the 15th of January 2021, the Authority notes that there are rapidly changing developments in the market.”
“This includes but is not limited to internet access, data prices, content, viewership patterns and technology which, in the Authority‘s view, are critical for consideration by the Authority in coming to a finding(s).”
Kedama said that after gathering more information, Icasa intends to publish a discussion document for public comment.
After its first round of inquiries in 2019, Icasa concluded that MultiChoice dominates South Africa’s subscription broadcasting market and proposed several remedies.
Last year, MultiChoice told Icasa it faces an existential threat from major international streaming providers.
“We consider providers like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Now, and Peacock to be an existential competitive threat,” MultiChoice stated.
Icasa seemed to take MultiChoice’s submission to heart and rebooted its subscription TV market inquiry in May 2022.
Since then, MultiChoice has announced a partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky that will see Showmax switch to Peacock’s technology.
As part of the deal, Comcast will acquire a 30% stake in Showmax for an undisclosed cash injection.
MultiChoice expects to launch the revamped “Showmax 2.0” before its current financial year ends in March 2024.