SABC planning a “freemium “streaming service

The SABC is working on a pay-per-view streaming service in Cape Town to make accessible content available via a valid SABC TV license number as part of a “freemium” approach.

Even though all television and radio services of the South African public broadcaster will remain free and freely accessible, the SABC has begun to create a separate streaming platform for it.

With access control, which is likely to be in the form of a television license number, users will be able to access content including episodes of existing and ongoing programs, as well as library from SABC archives.

For information, SABC is now providing its recently launched free SABC News application, broadcasting its SABC News (DStv 404) TV channel, as well as its radio stations and press articles.

For its catch-up approach to television content, SABC download episodes of certain shows on YouTube where it does not own the platform and can’t manage the user experience.

The SABC has also licensed certain programs on VIU South African’s video-on-demand (VOD) service, operated by PCCW Media and Vuclip, where the broadcaster also doesn’t own the platform with no control over the user-interaction.

Commenting the latest development, Madoda Mxakwe, CEO of SABC, said that “the SABC does not intend to let streaming TV services to our competitors.”

Before adding that: “SABC has settled an over-the-top integrated strategy (OTT) to develop or acquire its own OTT broadcast platform as a medium-term goal, which will allow it to control its own destiny into the future. Previous funding contest and inadequate committee for more than five months this year has slowed us down but have not stopped our OTT projects.”