South African Free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster E.tv has filed an application for leave to appeal against the high court’s decision in June that government-subsidised set-top-boxes (STBs) do not require encryption to receive Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). The appeal is expected to be heard in October, NexTVame reported.

It claims that the court made mistakes on several grounds in dismissing E.tv’s applications to set aside the amended digital TV policy. E.tv advocates the use of encryption in STBs, saying this is required to avoid the ghettoisation of FTA TV in South Africa. The broadcaster argued that encryption is essential to ensure that FTA broadcasters can access the latest and best international content.

Faith Muthambi, minister of communication, and MultiChoice, both opposed the use of encryption. Muthambi said the court had affirmed that amendments to the broadcasting digital migration policy gazetted on 18 March were in the best interest of the public. The ruling by the North Gauteng High Court will now allow the digital terrestrial television (DTT) process to progress and be concluded as soon as possible so that the benefits can be realised and enjoyed by all South Africans, she said.

Source: telecompaper