eBotswana claims for lost ad revenue from SABC
BUSINESS| Feb. 23, 2012, 11:04 a.m.
By John Churu, Goborone, Botswana
Soon all SABC television channels will no longer be accessible in Botswana, Biztechafrica has established.
The development, which can be deemed unsavoury to most Botswana TV viewers, comes after a ruling by the Johannesburg High Court where the majority shareholder in eBotswana, Mike Klink, successfully sued SABC and its signal distributor, SENTECH, for failure to encrypt SABC signals in Botswana.
The same court ordered SENTECH to pay the costs of the case. e-Botswana station manager Dave Coles told Biztechafrica that SENTECH is liable to eBotswana for damages they suffered since March 25, 2009 until now, as a result of SENTECH’s failure to prevent pirate viewing in Botswana of SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 signals carried on Vivid platform.
e-Botswana argued that the piracy of the SABC signal through Chinese decoders popularly known as Phillibao here, had resulted in loss of business by denying the channel an opportunity to make profit from advertising. Accordingly, SENTECH was ordered to switch off all SABC signals in Botswana. In the ruling SABC was ordered to serve SENTECH with claims and SENTECH to respond within 10 days of receipt of the claims. However, this is to be preceded by determination of quantification of the damages to be claimed by eBotswana in a damages enquiry.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the National Broadcasting Board, Masego Mpotokwane, has said in media reports that his organisation was aware of the problems that eBotswana faced as a result of SABC channels being pirated in Botswana.
Biztechafrica followed the issue with Dave Coles, the manager at eBotswana:
BiztechAfrica (BTA): What plans are afoot at eBotswana to cover the gap which will be left by Sentech in the country?
Dave Coles (DC) I think a lot of pressure is being put on e-Botswana to instantly fill the void left by the SABC. One must be realistic however; as the gap won't be filled overnight but it will take time not only by eBotswana, but by BTV, Multichoice and other parties. The piracy took time to retard our broadcasting industry, and it will again take time to get it healthy again.
BTA: Since e-botswana is mainly concentrated in the peripheries of Gaborone as of now, do you have the capacity to go nationwide when the time comes?
DC: We intended to apply for a national Broadcasting Licence in 2009; we then put this on hold, as it was not financially feasible for us as the piracy of the SABC channels was already affecting our revenues. When Sentech does eventually re-encrypt the SABC channels, this will strengthen our revenues, and will thus allow us to look at the real possibility of us going National. We would like to be a television station that is relevant to ALL Batswana, and not just those living in and around Gaborone.
BTA: How will your programs fill the place left by the ones from SABC?
DC: We currently have an excellent program line-up. Our programming is very similar to that of our sister channel in SA, e.tv. We have daily soapies, wrestling, live EPL soccer and great blockbuster movies, so we do believe we will provide quality entertainment to our audiences.
BTA: What is the future of eBotswana in terms of roping in more local content?
DC: Increased revenue and possible programme sponsorships will enable us to commission local content. Botswana has a wealth of creative talent who would love for their content to be viewed and earn them a good living. We hope in time, eBotswana will provide them with such a platform that will see them grow and blossom.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Riverbed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo in $3.6bn dealRiverbed Technology has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by leading private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Read More
Egyptian revival spurs MEA PC market growthThe PC market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region grew 2.1 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), spurred by the revival of the Egyptian market and two significant education deals in Pakistan. Read More
ICT set to shape Africa's economic landscape in 2015With public cloud in emerging African countries set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of up to 84% over the coming five years, the year 2015 heralds the beginning of a new era for ICT adoption across the continent, says IDC. Read More
88mph and Microsoft Ventures partner to support startups in NigeriaMicrosoft, in partnership with 88mph, has announced the expansion of the Microsoft Ventures program into Nigeria. Read More
Riverbed names new senior VP of Sales in EMEARiverbed Technology has announced that Kristian Thyregod has been promoted to Senior Vice President Sales, in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More
M&A, infrastructure sharing, liberalisation to reshape telecoms in AfricaMergers, acquisitions, infrastructure sharing and market liberalisation will reshape Africa’s telecommunications markets by 2018, according to market analysts Frost & Sullivan. Read More
Dell, Intel study uncovers truth behind technology and the workforceDell and Intel have unveiled findings from its second Global Evolving Workforce Study, which identifies, and explores current and future trends pertaining to the workplace and workforce, and the role that technology has played in their evolution. Read More
PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025. Read More
Why govt listed Glo, others as top firmsNigeria’s national carrier, Globacom and 99 other top notch firms have been listed as top 100 Firms in Nigeria for the 2014 fiscal year. The top 100 companies list is based on international benchmark set by the International Integrated Reporting Council. Read More
Women can lead 21st century ICT industry, says Zinox chiefWith the right mix of innovation, business focus, accountability and ambition, women entrepreneurs can spearhead the evolution of the ICT industry in the 21st century, says the Chairman, Zinox Group. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.