eMedia Investments, the parent company of eNCA and e.tv, notes with disappointment, the media release by Multichoice regarding its carriage agreement with ANN7. We have refrained from making any comment to date, but today’s statement by Multichoice requires clarification.
Multichoice CEO, Calvo Mawela revealed confidential contractual information relating to eMedia Investments’ agreement with Multichoice. eMedia Investments is contracted to provide five channels to DStv on a non-exclusive basis, the same basis as ANN7 provides its news channel to Multichoice. Furthermore, the provision of 24-hour news channel eNCA as well as Afrikaans news bulletins for kykNET are provided on an exclusive basis.
These services are incomparably more extensive than the ANN7 offering and attract substantially larger audiences on the DStv platform. eNCA delivers an independent, commercially viable news service, holding more than 50% of the news-watching audience. The total amount currently received from Multichoice for all of the services is significantly below the amount suggested by both the Multichoice statement and subsequent comments made in the Q&A session. The overstatement of the amount payable, to justify amounts paid in respect of ANN7, is distressing.
The suggestion made by Mr Mawela that questions have not been asked of the Multichoice agreement with eNCA is misplaced. The amount paid pursuant to an ordinary commercial contract such as eMedia’s is irrelevant when it comes to the issues facing Multichoice and their relationship with ANN7. That relationship, which has been ventilated in the media and the court of public opinion, details serious allegations of bribery, corruption and impropriety.
Released: 31 January 2018