Broadcast Regulation

South Africa: Netflix To Pay $51K Annual Licencing Fee To Film And Publication Board - Reports

Netflix has reportedly bowed under pressure from the Film and Publication Board (FPB) and has agreed to classify the content on its video streaming service according to South Africa’s local content classification regulations and also pay the classification body.

Unlike MultiChoice’s Showmax, Ster-Kinekor, Apple TV+ and Nu Metro, Netflix had refused for four years to register its content for FPB classification and to pay for local content classification since its SA launch in January 2016.

In October 2017 Yann Lafargue, the Head of Technology and Corporate Communications for Netflix’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations, was reported to have said that Netflix would not submit to the local classification of its content and did not have to pay those fees.

At the time Yann Lafargue said that Netflix wanted the freedom to regulate itself. 

Now Netflix has finally bowed under FPB pressure and has agreed to pay a licensing fee of R795 000 ($51 752.00) per year for the local classification of content after it inked a FBP deal last week.

Netflix won’t be paying any back-dated fees for the period between 2016 and 2020, where its service was available in SA without content classification.

Netflix’s agreement with the Film and Publication Board comes as the streaming giant realised that it would run into problems if it doesn’t pay for local content classification as it increases its local South African productions as well as with upcoming South African series.

The Acting CEO of the FPB, Abongile Mashele released a statement saying that the Film and Publication Board is thrilled to welcome Netflix onboard its licensed online content distributing platforms, following the signing of a distribution deal between both parties.

Netflix joins Google, Apple and Showmax and is the 9th online distributor to be contracted with the FPB, ensuring full compliance with the Film and Publications Act, and the classification guidelines.


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