SABC to drop news?

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November 1, 2016
SABC to drop news?

APPLICATION: SABC

e.tv and SABC want to air news outside of regular prime time viewing.

The SABC looks set to drop its prime time news after applying to have its licensing conditions amended.

The public broadcaster wants the requirement that it airs news during prime time removed, after free-to-air broadcaster e.tv made a similar submission last week.

The submissions are before the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) with e.tv citing a drop in viewers as its motivation.

The SABC initially protested the submission by e.tv, saying it would put “unfair” pressure on its most watched channel, SABC 1.

But it has now made a similar submission, meaning it too might not be airing news when the majority of South Africans are watching TV between 6pm and 9.30pm, reports the Cape Argus.

If the application is successful, e.tv intends to move news to 10.30pm and introduce a weekday bulletin at 6pm.

On Sunday, SABC spokesman Kaiser Kganyago declined to comment on the submission to Icasa.

He said the submission was compiled by their regulatory division, with members of top management also giving an input.

The SABC argued the approval of e.tv’s application would unfairly grant e.tv “flexibility with respect to scheduling of their programmes, whilst the SABC does not have that privilege”.

Prime time share movement shows South Africans follow dramas across the three most watched free-to-air schedules.

The SABC asked Icasa to deny e.tv’s application.

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