Digital Migration in South Africa201132632620

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Digital Migration in South Africa201132632620 Powered By Docstoc
					Digital Migration in South Africa

           October 2008
          Save Our SABC
            Libby Lloyd
    What does it mean to you?
• How should civil society be interacting with
  DTT migration?
        Why Digital Migration
• International Telecommunications Union has
  resolved that analogue television frequencies will
  not be protected anymore after 2015
• This is to free up frequencies for new services
• Both more channels for SA and other broadband
  services (about 8 digital channels for each one
  analogue frequency?)
                The Digital Dividend
    How it works
Digital Terrestrial Television System



       DTT changes the nature of
  Technology                Multi-channel
     features               Better quality pictures and sound
                            Potential for Interactivity (with or without
                            return path)
                            Can have multiple language tracks
               PROS                                       CONS
• More channels potentially allows         • No signal in marginal areas
more audience choice                       • Multichannel makes it harder to
•Bouquets for specific interests –         attract viewers to a given channel
greater viewer differentiation             •Need regulation to ensure
•Quality can be controlled per             diversity
channel or per event to optimise           • Decoders complex – need for
resources                                  aerials?
•More capacity to deal with specific       • Expensive for viewers and
needs                                      broadcasters
           DTT Impacts on Broadcasters’ on
                  Different Levels
Content Production,
  Packaging and                  Signal Distribution                     Signal Reception
  Programming                    and Transmission                        and Devices

 Broadcasters need to         Transmitter Network rollout
                                                                  Design of Electronic program
 digitize archives, studios,   Costs of signal distribution will guide (EPG) needs to be
 and production networks        rise                              undertaken – may require co-
                                                                  operation of different
Broadcasters will need to
 develop and test new
                                                                  STB specs to be developed
 DTT channels
                                                                  which will determine what kind of
                                                                  services can be offered
                                                                 Revenues and business models
                                                                  will be impacted: license fee
                                                                  collection, interactive service
DTT migration therefore requires the
co-operation of multiple stakeholders
             History in SA
• Minister sets up Digital Migration Working
  Group (DMWG)
• Includes all industry players
DWMG submits recommendations to
 DWMG key recommendation
“That government should establish a
  joint body with industry to develop
  an action plan for the switch-off of
  analogue television broadcasting,
  to monitor the switchover process
        and promote consumer
         Background cont…
• Cabinet announces in Feb digital signal will
  be switched on 1 Nov 2008 – switched off 1
  Nov 2011

 Three year “dual illumination
                An Aside…
             Dual illumination
  When analogue and digital signal running
  to test signal,
  to persuade consumers of benefits and to get ready
  for switch-off
  to ensure ongoing universal access

Very expensive for existing broadcasters
           Back to history
              2007 cont…
• March:
Government issues a draft policy and
  strategy doc

 Asks for comment within two weeks as
 Promises, promises, promises

Government repeatedly states
 policy will be out “shortly”,
 “next week”, “next month”
            No policy but…
• May 2007 Budget speech Minister announces
  Digital Dzonga
• But…only in next budget speech details other
  players who will sit on Council

   Includes broadcasters, signal distributors,
           unions, consumer bodies….

  Responsible for “consumer awareness and
    education, liaison with the regulator and
        monitoring of implementation “
• Finally – almost 18 months later

    Digital Migration policy is launched
• Not detailed enough
• Only released specs for STBs at same time

…and only 3 months till switch-on
• Repeats switch on 1 Nov 2008
• Switch off 1 Nov 2011
• Phased increase in transmission coverage
• On 1 Nov major urban centres (50% of
• By 2010 80% coverage
• Promised by switch off everyone will be
  able to receive
Distraction…. Signal distribution
• All transmitters need to be converted
• Sentech (signal distributor) says needs
  R950m for conversion
  R917m for dual illumination

BUT only awarded R600m
     Policy: which broadcasters
• All existing terrestrial tv channels will be
  accommodated during dual illumination
  – SABC
  – E-tv
  – M-Net

  No new players licensed during dual illumination
     ICASA draft regulations
• ICASA issued regulations for comment on
  3 October
• Comment due in by 7 November
      Broadcasting during dual
• Government Policy does not state how many
  channels each will get
• DWMG suggested:
  – SABC five (3 existing and two regional?)
  – E-tv two
  – M-Net three

    Costs high for broadcasters – new content
             and double transmission
      ICASA draft regulations
• Reserve two “multiplexes” for existing
• One multi plex for public and community
• One for commercial
• Each multi plex can carry 8 channels.
 ICASA proposals on allocating
• “allocation must aim to increase the number of
  channels falling under the public wing of the
  SABC for the purpose of public service
  broadcasting including regional broadcasting
• “Digital incentive channels must be assigned
  proportionally to …commercial channels…
  including etv, m-net and the commercial wing of
          What this means
• Presumption that commercial and public
  split continues
• No query of if model works
• Issues of fair competition
       What it means cont…
2 commercial channels for SABC
 (SABC 3 and another)
Five channels for public section (SABC
 1, 2, 3, 4 and another)
1 for community
2 e-tv and 4 m-net
       How propose allocate?
• “Authorisation of channels for public
  broadcasting …will be subjected to a public
  value test and may be subjected to a public
• Define public value test as meaning that the
  channel … should seek to meet the
  programming objectives set out in relevant
  section of regulation and may be subjected to
  further public processes
    Proposed programme
– Level of educational programming
– Distribution of different languages – emphasising
  marginalised (isiNdebele, siSwati, XiTsonga,
– Promotion of cultural diversity
– Programming aimed at persons with disability,
  children youth and women
– The social development of persons in the Republic
  including programmes providing entertainment
  and information
– Multi Genre programming
   How define “public process”
• “May include any or all of following:
  – Publish a notice in gazette of application for
    channel authorisation
  – Invite comments
  – Give a chance to SABC to respond to
  – Conduct a public hearing
• Nice idea
• Limited public involvement prescribed
• Missed chance to define how public broadcasting
  is distinct from public commercial
• Presumption that model will continue
• Not clear how determined what is of public value
• No requirement for SABC to conduct research
  into public value
•   More channels
•   More content
•   Expensive
•   What will local content quotas be?
•   Is there capacity in independent production
         Content development
        DMWG              Government policy

Need government         Vague
  support for content   Digital Content
  development             Generation Hubs will
                          be developed
                              But When?
                        Any financial support?
            Consumer Issues
• STB’s : R700
• 5 million will not be able to afford this
• Government subsidy “Scheme for
  Ownership Support (SOS):
  – 70% of cost for those on government grants
  – Estimated 5million people
             Subsidy scheme
                        R2.45 bill
Not clear where funds will come from:
Suggested Universal Service and Access Fund
But …
telecommunications operators unhappy
USAF – capacity to manage such a large roll out?
            Consumer Issues
•   Need clear rules on subsidy system
•   Need to know how will roll-out
•   Need massive awareness campaign
•   Need to have campaigns to show how to use
• Launch with no STB’s
• No-one will be able to watch – except 500
  people chosen to test
• STBs will be manufactured in South Africa
• STBs will only be available from mid 2009
• most basic box will have inbuilt capability to
  facilitate e-government applications to enable
  users to receive and send back messages,
  download information on government
  services and submit, for example, application
        What does it mean to
        broadcasting policy?
• Need to review entire broadcasting policy
  and legislation – currently only allows a
  private company to own one tv channel
• Need to review laws – SABC public and
  public commercial
• Need to review funding for public
  Funding of public broadcasting
• SABC will need more money for more channels
  and for dual illumination
• Need to rethink funding model
• Public and commercial division not worked – still
  all commercial
• SABC previously raised potential for using STB
  to monitor payment of licence fees…
• UK and France relooking at public broadcasting
  funding in light of multi-channel environment
    Need to review all regulations
•   Local content
•   Must carry rules for public broadcasting
•   Frequency spectrum
•   How will licence new players?
 “…the introduction of new channels will
    fragment audiences …drive down
  advertising rates. It is unlikely … that
 advertising spend … will increase – it is
 more likely that the available spend will
have to be shared across more channels.
As more channels mean higher costs for
 broadcasters, this will have an adverse
   affect on incumbent broadcasters.”

               Marcel Golding
                 e-tv CEO
             Issues for SOS?
• Monitor roll out of STB’s to ensure universal
• Engage with subsidy scheme
• Engage with roll out process…
• Respond to ICASA position paper – public value
• Question funding model for public broadcasting
• Use to advance call for rethink of broadcasting