With a selection of streaming services currently available, the last thing that anyone wants to pay money for right now is an SABC subscription. Anyone with an Internet connection has gravitated away from the local broadcaster’s sub-sub-sub-par selection of programming, content so atrociously bad that it has actually helped the likes of Netflix and Showmax establish themselves as streaming alternatives.
Unless you’ve got the library of Disney or Hulu, you’d have to be a fool to start a new streaming service in the current glut of online entertainment. That’s the reaction that people have expressed with the news that the SABC wants to start its own on-demand streaming service, but here’s the rub: It’s actually a clever ruse to get you to fork out money for a TV license if you watch content on any screen, whether it be a tablet or a smartphone. It’s like ordering a Steers burger and being forced to pay a Wimpy tax for your meal.
While the idea of the SABC wanting the likes of Netflix and Multichoice to collect TV license cash for it sounds bonkers, the state entity having a VOD platform could help get its foot in the door. Currently, if you buy a new TV you have to have a TV license as the SABC can argue that your device has the potential to access their content even if you don’t intend to.
With a digital platform, the SABC can argue that you’re also capable of streaming in its content, and thus you have to pay for a TV license to do so. If there’s a screen in the country, the SABC is going to want its pound of flesh from it. It is worth noting that for now, this push is in the draft phase and is open for public comment. Angry tweets and comments won’t help your voice be heard, so now’s the time to submit your views to government.
Last Updated: October 22, 2020