eBotswana claims for lost ad revenue from SABC

BUSINESS

|
Image: eBotswana's Dave Cole with President Ian Khama. By BiztechAfrica
eBotswana's Dave Cole with President Ian Khama

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Wananchi Telecom prepares for rapid growth across Africa with global network services from Epsilon

Leading East African carrier Wananchi Telecom has partnered with Epsilon to connect African customers to more than 170 countries around the world. Read More

Setback for BTCL IPO as workers cry broke

With the Privatisation of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited privatisation nearing completion, employees claim they do not have the funds to buy the five percent of shares allocated to them. Read More

Nomanini takes Africa by storm using Google Cloud Platform

Nomanini, a Cape Town-based mobile point of sale service that specialises in facilitating cash payments in emerging markets, has successfully scaled into six countries across Africa in just four years, using Google’s Cloud Platform.  Read More

Airtel Kenya announces senior management appointments

Airtel Kenya has appointed Josee Cremieux and Dick Omondi as the new customer service director and corporate affairs director respectively.   Read More

Westcon Africa team expands

Westcon Southern Africa has appointed Brendan Mac Carron in the capacity of Communications and Security Account Manager for the Rest of Africa. Read More

Schneider Electric named Africa Best Employer Brand 2014

Schneider Electric Africa has been awarded the Africa Best Employer Brand Award for 2014/2015 at the annual “Employer Branding Awards (EBA). Read More

Challenges facing today’s CFO’s in driving profit across the African borders

The mode of doing business in Africa has changed and so has the role of the CFO, says SAP Africa. Read More

Cdiscount open for business in Cameroon

Cdiscount, a French e-commerce leader, has officially launched its subsidiary in Cameroon, hoping to change the face of e-commerce in this Central African nation. Read More

Applications open for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme

Applications are invited for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, a $100 million programme set to fast track African start-ups. Read More

ICS Financial Systems extends presence in Africa

Robert Hazboun, DG of ICSFS ICS Financial Systems Limited (ICSFS) a global software and services provider for banks and financial institutions, partnered with new banks through expansion of its operations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

UCC launches 2015 ACIA awardsUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards

Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN to empower African businesses with AWS Direct Connect

MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the ...

“All Systems GO!” for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in Zambia

It’s “All Systems GO!” for the winners of the fourth edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards to be announced at the awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia ...

Spectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa

University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.