MultiChoice has responded to ICASA’s draft findings that refute the claim that MultiChoice is harmed by competition from over-the-top (OTT) streaming services.
The DStv owners argue that the ICASA’s findings that there is ineffective competition and that MultiChoice has market power over these streaming sites in the country. As a result, ICASA has floated the idea of imposing pro-competition licensing conditions on MultiChoice.
In response, MultiChoice argues that ICASA’s draft findings don’t have a wide enough view of the streaming market. Rather, they believe that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are serious threats to their business.
They argued specifically that the assertion that there isn’t enough broadband access to make streaming a threat, is incorrect. MultiChoice insisted that through their own findings it was clear there was enough of a market accessing internet to make streaming services a viable option.
It also argued that putting restrictions on DStv will not bring about the outcome ICASA expects, rather they believe ICASA is underestimating OTT’s power and competitive business model.
MutliChoice does have it’s own OTT service, Showmax which stands in competition to the international options. It holds a particular niche for South African content and has a growing portfolio of original work, similar to Netflix.
How ICASA will move forward in light of this response is still to be seen.