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

New age e-commerce consumers challenge traditional business models

African consumers are increasingly searching online platforms with commercial intent, says DHL. Read More

VMware appoints Bask Iyer as chief information officer

VMware has announced the appointment of Bask Iyer to the role of senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of VMware. Read More

SpeedCast acquires Geolink

SpeedCast International Limited, a leading global satellite communications service provider, has announced the acquisition of Geolink Satellite Services, a leading provider of satellite communications solutions in the African region. Read More

Out of the Dark: Survival guide for businesses during load-shedding

As Africa’s premier integrator of business continuity services, ContinuitySA’s team spends a lot of time identifying risks and how to mitigate them. One risk that has become very real for South African businesses is load-shedding.  Read More

Insurance body: ICT essential

The newly established Insurance Institute of Botswana (IIB) says in this day and age it was virtually impossible for organisations, insurance companies included, to operate without incorporating ICT in every facet of their operations. Read More

VMware appoints Scott Dodds as new Vice President, Channel and Alliances in EMEA

VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced the appointment of Scott Dodds as Vice President of Channel and Alliances in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More

IHS Towers awarded Telecom Finance Deal of the Year

IHS Towers, Africa’s leading independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider, has won TelecomFinance’s 2015 award for Deal of the Year.  Read More

Moving from doer to influencer – the shifting role of the CIO

The role of the chief information officer (CIO) has evolved over the past few years, with CIOs no longer just the decision makers for IT systems.  Read More

World market for refurbished smartphones to reach 120m units by 2017

The worldwide market for refurbished phones that are sold to end users will grow to 120 million units by 2017, with an equivalent wholesale revenue of around $14 billion, says Gartner. Read More

Turkey’s Vestel seeks trade partners in Africa

Turkey’s Vestel is looking for trade partners/customers for home appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, cooking appliances, dishwashers, air conditioners), Flat TV, Mobile Phones business in all Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Malawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ softwareMalawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ software

The Malawi Government will not exclude the software brand that has been in use for the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), but it has rejected reports implying that it is ‘clinging’ to the old system.

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 demonstrates the benefits of its video on demand offering

MTN showcased the benefits of FrontRow when it streamed high bandwidth video content onto multiple mobile devices using its video on demand (VOD) offering.

VMware appoints Bask Iyer as chief information officer

VMware has announced the appointment of Bask Iyer to the role of senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of VMware.