Following the drama between pay TV company, Multichoice and local news channel, ANN7, the Pay TV company announced that it will no longer be renewing the news channel's contract when it expires in August this year. This move has left a void in the news business which sorely lacks reputable, privately owned news channels.
The announcement by MultiChoice came after the DA lodged a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in November of 2017. The DA reports that an investigation by ICASA was currently underway to look into unorthodox payments made to the news channel ny the broadcaster.
It emerged that MultiChoice made the payments (believed to be of about R100 Million), allegedly in exchange for political influence over government policy on digital migration in favor of the Pay TV channel.
Speaking at a press briefing in Johannesburg earlier this week, Multichoice CEO, Calvo Mawela stated “the board has found the were some mistakes in our dealings with ANN7, but there is no evidence of corruption or any illegal activity. Secondly, we acknowledge that we should have looked into the controversy surrounding ANN7 before public concern was raised and this should have been raised to the board sooner. Thirdly, we will not be renewing our contract with ANN7. Instead, we are going to be hosting a new black owned news channel and we’ll be calling for proposals from interested media groups soon. We will not be renewing ANN7’s contract and the channel will not be broadcast on DSTV once the contract ends on the 20th of August 2018."
Mawela also added, "instead, we are starting the process of looking for a new black-owned news channel."
And that is where one local ZAleb and business man has seen an opportunity that he is looking to capitalize on.
We might have to start referring to Touch HD boss, Tbo Touch as Thabo Molefe if his bid to start and run a black owned 24-hour news station that will be aired on DSTV is successful. Earlier today, he took to social media to confirm that he has put his name in the running and is currently awaiting feedback.
It will be interesting to see if Molefe can pull this off as well as how he plans to do so. Later this year, he will be expanding his business interests to Nigeria when he launches a version of his local radio station that side.
Main image credit: touch-hd.com