The NAB has noted recent developments with regards to the launch of the Free to View satellite television service in South Africa. The service has advertising as a funding model and could have a severe impact on the advertising market in South Africa.
However, the NAB has noted the contents of ICASA's media response of 25 January 2008, wherein ICASA has expressed the view that the Free to View service is operating illegally in South Africa. ICASA has also indicated that it will be acting against the service. Some noteworthy statements taken from the ICASA media release:
"Section 7 of the Electronic Communications Act prohibits the provision of an electronic communication and broadcasting service without a licence. In other words, any entity that intends to provide a broadcasting service intended for receipt within the borders of R.S.A requires a licence issued by ICASA. Any attempt to provide such service constitutes a criminal offence. A similar attempt was previously made by an entity known as Don’t Panic Television and the Pretoria High Court affirmed that any entity that intends to broadcast into R.S.A requires a licence."
"ICASA has never been approached about the intended service nor has it issued a licence or permission for such service to be rendered."
The NAB follows developments in this matter with keen interest and will keep its members up to date should any new information become available