eBotswana claims for lost ad revenue from SABC
BUSINESSBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Mustek, Huawei International Pte. Ltd. in $51 million project for Zambia Railway LimitedMustek Limited has announced its contract to supply and deliver over $12 million worth of Huawei’s ‘Signalling and Telecommunications’ equipment to a consortium upgrading Zambia Railway Limited. Read More
Senanu named AccessKenya deputy CEOAccessKenya Group has appointed Kris Senanu as its new Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Read More
Twinpine showcased at MWC14Nigeria’s Twinpine Mobile Advertising Network showcased its technological capacity at the MWC14. Read More
Strong growth for mobile printer marketThe global mobile/portable printer market will reach USD11.87 billion by 2018, says TechSci Research. Read More
Worldwide tablet sales up 68%Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 per cent increase on 2012, according to Gartner. Read More
IHS secures US$490m to fund African expansionIHS Holding Ltd. has secured US$490 million of equity and debt in its latest financing round. Read More
PIVOT East partners with Tech Hubs for 2014 startup competitionThe organisers of PIVOT East, one of the most prestigious mobile startup competitions and conferences in East Africa, have announced a partnership with Tech Hubs across the region for 2014. Read More
Top ten named in Google Africa Connected contestThe ten finalists have been named in Google’s Africa Connected competition. Read More
VMware completes acquisition of AirWatchVMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has completed its acquisition of AirWatch, the leading provider of enterprise mobile management and security solutions. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.