Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SABC says the SABC Encore channel is available on 'all DStv packages' - only it's not. MultiChoice keeps it off some DStv packages.

Talk about mixed messages and confusing communication to consumers: While the SABC has been saying and telling viewers that the new rerun channel SABC Encore (DStv 156) is "available on all DStv packages" and saying SABC Encore is "for all DStv subscribers", it's not.

MultiChoice is not giving SABC Encore as a channel to all its pay-TV customers and keeping it restricted from certain DStv packages.

The SABC has repeatedly said on-air and in interviews that the SABC Encore channel, with repeat programming from the SABC's archives, will be available to all DStv subscribers.

The SABC's SABC News reported that SABC Encore "will be available on all the DStv bouquets".

MultiChoice says it never said SABC Encore would be available on all DStv packages.

The SABC Encore channel, filled with locally-produced golden oldies from the SABC's apartheid-era 70's, 80's and 90's days, launched on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform on Monday.

MultiChoice, in response to a media enquiry said it announced in April that SABC Encore as a channel would only be available to DStv Premium, DStv Extra, DStv Compact and DStv Family customers.

Subscribers who pay for cheaper entry-level DStv packages like DStv Access, DStv EasyView, or one of the legacy DStv Select packages, are not given access to the SABC Encore channel by MultiChoice.

"Being a teacher, I sadly do not get enough time to watch TV, so I am only on the DStv EasyView bouquet," a DStv subscriber told TV with Thinus on Tuesday.

"I phoned MultiChoice hoping to get SABC Encore if I upgrade to DStv Access. I was then told of the bouquets to find it on," said the subscriber.

In a statement parliament's portfolio committee on communications said SABC Encore is exclusive to DStv pay-TV subscribers but that the committee believes that SABC Encore should be accessible "on either one of the free-to-air TV platforms including SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3".

"The corporation remains a public broadcaster and should be accessible to the public," says Joyce Moloi-Moropa, chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on communications.

"The committee believes that the advent of digital terrestrial television (DTT) will transform the broadcasting sector in providing quality coverage and access to all SABC TV channels".

"While the committee applauds the SABC for the job well done, the corporation should not relent on the task at hand, which is to transform channels SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 to reflect locally based content," says Joyce Moloi-Moropa.