SABC’s set-top boxes to be free-to-air

Public broadcaster, SABC announced that it will not support conditional access of set-top boxes, but instead make its digital terrestrial television (DTT) set-top boxes, free-to-air as it is the ‘most suitable option for a free-to-air broadcaster’.

“Research through benchmarking with other public broadcasters across the world also strengthened our decision, as they do not have conditional access on their services either, which is a standard practice,” explained SABC in its statement. Earlier in October, pay-TV provider, MultiChoice, had opposed to SABC’s plans to include CAS claiming that the move will set back the country many years technologically and increase set-up costs.

The SABC also announced that it was ready to launch the DTT service, as the infrastructure, content, and resources were in place. The service would provide SABC channels one, two, three, and its 24-hour news channel. It will also launch an entertainment channel on the DTT platform.