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
Beachhead Solutions introduces channel programme for emerging marketsBeachhead's high-ROI reseller programme is now available in MEA and India. Read More
Barclays Africa launches RiseA new global start-up community has been launched to pioneer financial services and unlock Africa’s potential. Read More
JUA Energy enters Nigeria after success in KenyaAfter successfully entering the Kenyan market in April 2014, solar-powered systems and technological electronic accessories manufacturer brand JUA energy has launched in Nigeria to sell through e-tailer Jumia. Read More
Fundamo founder joins Nomanini’s advisory boardFundamo founder Hannes Van Rensburg, generally considered the father of mobile payments, has joined the advisory board of Nomanini, a South African-based, enterprise technology transactions platform provider. Read More
Airtel sponsors Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2015Airtel is sponsoring the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2015 being held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) now underway in Nairobi. Read More
MTN acquires Smart Village to enhance its foothold in the fibre network spaceMTN has concluded a deal with MultiChoice to acquire Smart Village, which will accelerate the mobile operator’s fibre to the home (FTTH) strategy to be the provider of choice for high speed fibre network across South Africa. Read More
Agilitude opens East African office on the back of mobility and cloud growthSalesforce reseller and Consulting Partner Agilitude has announced that is has opened an office in Kenya, making East Africa its next target for growth. Read More
MTN gets ethics management committeeMTN Nigeria has set up an ethics management committee with the sole responsibility of managing ethics risks. Read More
200 entrepreneurs to launch innovative businessesOver 200 entrepreneurs from across Africa are set to receive resources, networking opportunities and mentorship from Microsoft 4Afrika and AMPION. Read More
FEATURED STORYConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief
Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.
COMPANY NEWSLuba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3
Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.