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Inquiry into Must-Carry Regulations on the Cards

June 25, 2019

Independent Communications Authority

25 June 2019

An Inquiry into Must-Carry Regulations is on the cards.

The Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) announced this in a statement on a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) report.

According to ICASA, the Inquiry is necessary so as to “reach a comprehensive and accurate conclusion on the effectiveness of these regulations and consequently decide whether the current Regulations require an amendment”.

The RIA process got underway in September 2018.

It flowed from complaints from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Licensee necessitating ICASA to consider the effects of the regulations and whether a review is needed.

The regulations provide that “a Subscription Broadcasting Service (SBS) Licensee is required to carry the television programmes of a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Licensee at no cost to the SBS Licensee”.

The SABC as the PBS licensee wants pay-television licensees to pay for the public broadcasting content.

ICASA holds the view that. although a decision to amend the regulations cannot be made at this stage, there is, nevertheless, a “need for further consultation and to conduct an Inquiry into the effectiveness of the regulations and possible review thereof”.