Broadcast Rights: DStv SuperSport Model Threatened By Regulatory Intervention In South Africa
In South Africa, business may be about to get more challenging for DStv SuperSport as the industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), is about to publish a regulatory mandate requiring DStv to make the broadcast so-called "public interest sports" available free-to-air.
ICASA has to this end, just published and submitted for the required public comment a draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations, which is directly aimed to ensure that the "public interest sports" - many of which are sports properties already owned by DStv SuperSport - become accessible to the broader public.
Justifying the need for the regulatory mandate, ICASA referenced the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where, according to the regulator, the broadcast rights were acquired by a subscription broadcasting licensee with the consequence that a majority of South Africans was excluded from accessing the national team's participation in that competition".
To this end, with the ICASA draft regulation is proposing that the underlisted (not-exhaustive) national sporting events would be required to be broadcast live, delayed-live or delayed by free-to-air broadcasting service licensees:
Summer Olympic Games, Paralympics, (FIFA) World Cup, (FIFA) Women's World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, Rugby World Cup, Cricket (ICC) World Cup, T20 Cricket World Championships, Netball World Cup, Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Athletics Championships, Super Rugby, All Africa Games, COSAFA Cup, CAF Champions League, CAF) Confederations Cup
Industry analysts say that if the provisions of this draft regulation become law, they see principal, if not existential problems for DStv SuperSport.