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Embattled SABC plans to launch a streaming service to take on Netflix

Business Insider SA
 Oct 24, 2019, 05:39 PM
  • SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the broadcaster is planning to launch a streaming service to take on Netflix, MyBroadband reported. 
  • Implementation of the streaming service has been delayed by funding, Mxakwe said. 
  • He said the SABC’s plan includes working with telecommunications providers to make content accessible. 
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State broadcaster SABC, which recently received an R3.2 billion bailout from the National Treasury, is planning to launch a streaming service, MyBroadband reported. 

The SABC suffered a net loss of R482.4m in the period ended March 2019 - a 35% improvement of losses in the previous financial year, Fin24 reported.

The Sunday Times reported that the SABC, as part of its bailout conditions, is considering selling properties, including a farm, across the country and in London.

It currently suffers a gap in revenue as only 22.9% of South Africans pay for their TV licences.

Also read: The SABC officially wants to increase TV licence fees - here’s what happens next

Speaking at MMA Freedom Week in Johannesburg, SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the broadcaster plans to take on Netflix with a streaming service.

The SABC has developed an integrated streaming strategy which includes concluding deals with telecommunication providers to ensure that content is accessible, Mybroadband reported. 

Tech Central reported that Mxakwe said a streaming service will allow the SABC to control its own destiny. Funding challenges delayed implementation of the streaming service, he said.  

Mxakwe said the SABC’s news app for smartphones is an example of what is possible when combining television and audio content.

He said the SABC is the second most accessed online news source in the country, but information from Narratiive - which tracks website traffic in South Africa - shows that TimesLive is the most accessed digital news publication after News24. 

TimesLive previously reported that, despite a R280 million state subsidy a year, the SABC made a loss of R1 billion in 2016/17, R622 million in 2017/18 and R482 million in 2018/19.

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