Free-to-air broadcaster, e.tv, is dismayed by comments made by Communications Minister Dina Pule’s technical advisor, Roy Kruger, about the broadcaster’s commitment to DTT. Kruger’s reckless remarks were directed at e.tv’s lawsuit against the Minister’s appointment of Sentech to manage conditional access to set-top boxes.

Kruger’s description of the lawsuit as “stupid” and the reason for delaying a DTT launch, is highly irresponsible and misinformed. e.tv takes DTT and the lawsuit very seriously and has always supported the migration to DTT as a path to a multi-channel free-to-air environment.

e.tv’s Chief Operating Officer, Bronwyn Keene-Young says; “Kruger’s comments are unacceptable, especially in the context of e.tv’s repeated public statements that a successful DTT platform is crucial to the sustainability of terrestrial broadcasters in South Africa. Terrestrial broadcasters are losing audience share as viewers increasingly move to other platforms offering multi-channel options. It is for this reason that e.tv has a critical and vested interest in the success of DTT to maintain its viability and to offer South Africa a high quality multi-channel free-to-air product. In fact, as a single-channel free-to-air broadcaster, we probably have the most to lose by DTT delays.”

e.tv’s case against the Minister aims to ensure the establishment of a strong and stable DTT platform and reflects its commitment to a successful launch.

Keene-Young continues, “Kruger’s comments that e.tv is “holding up the country” is a false accusation and ironic given the fact DTT migration is being delayed due to a lack of regulatory certainty with no finalised DTT regulations, no finalised Sentech tariffs for broadcasters and no strong communications campaign around DTT.

Anyone following e.tv’s submissions to ICASA will know that the broadcaster fully supports DTT migration but this does not mean we should be forced to accept unlawful instructions from the Minister. In fact, we wonder why Mr Kruger has sought to go down this road. What are his motives?”

e.tv is well within its right to advocate for a strong and stable DTT platform so as to ensure a fair and efficient digital broadcasting environment.

Source: e.tv Vasili Vass, Head: Corporate Affairs at vasili.vass@etv.co.za or 021 481 4532 or 084 233 8277