The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has noted various media queries, reports as well as social media postings in relation to the discontinuation of the Russia TV (also known as RT) channel on the DSTV platform.
Indeed, ICASA has since noted the discontinuation of RT, DSTV Channel 407 until further notice.
The Authority put it on record that the broadcast of RT on the DSTV platform is and continues to be a commercial agreement between the subscription TV broadcaster, Multichoice and RT. The Authority’s role in the broadcasting of RT has been solely limited to channel authorisation as submitted by the licensee (in this case, Multichoice) and approved by ICASA prior to the channel being introduced.
This is a regulatory requirement fulfilled by the licensee before introducing any new channel for consumption by the South African public.
“Our Licensing and Compliance Division has not received any notification by Multichoice confirming the discontinuation of the channel on its DSTV platform.
The Chairperson says that it is in the public interest to know the reasons for this discontinuation since the authorisation was approved by the Authority. “Given the underlying principle of the South African broadcasting system for promoting plurality of views, it is only prudent for ICASA to enquire with DSTV on the rationale for the discontinuation of the RT channel.”Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, Chairperson, ICASA
ICASA continues to monitor the developments regarding this matter.