All the deets on SABC’s plan to challenge streaming services

The SABC says it knows it is behind on technology, but aims to challenge its competitors.
Image: Waldo Swiegers. (C) Sunday Times.

Cash-strapped public broadcaster the SABC says it is planning to leverage online platforms to allow customers to access its content from any device.

“The SABC will leverage online platforms to allow customers to access SABC content and services anywhere, any time and on any device,” said group CEO Madoda Mxakwe.

“It is not commonly known that SABCNews online is the second most accessed online news source in the country. We aim to be number one, but are pleased with the progress so far.”

The broadcaster’s news app for smartphones is an example of the possibilities of combining television and audio content.

“We know we are behind on the technology side. The SABC does not intend to leave streaming TV services to our competitors.

“We intend to go much further, with the aim of putting all our content on our own streaming service,” he said.

Mxakwe said the SABC has developed an integrated over-the-top (OTT) strategy to develop or acquire its own OTT streaming platform as a medium-term goal.

“This will allow the SABC to control its own destiny into the future. Previous funding challenges and an inquorate board for over five months this year has slowed us down, but not stopped our OTT plans,” he said.

Mxakwe said the SABC and government are working on a plan to ensure that data does not remain an obstacle for people to consume online content.

“If SABC becomes a fully-fledged streaming service, it would make no sense if the digital and data divide is exacerbated and millions of our audiences cannot access our services on their phones and other devices.

“SABC will strive to conclude data deals with telecommunication operators to ensure that SABC’s mobile apps can be accessed by as many people as possible.

“As a policy goal, it is still vital for data prices to fall, as this will allow more people to access all the SABC’s content over their mobile phones,” he said.

BY UNATHI NKANJENI

TimesLIVE

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