The detailed report on South Africa’s broadcasting sector, including the manufacture of decoders, describes the current market, examines the latest regulatory and corporate developments and discusses factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 34 players including the commercial television broadcaster subscription-based DSTv, which is operated by MultiChoice and owned by the Naspers media group, as well as the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which is beset by financial and leadership problems. The major manufacturers of DSTv decoders, Altron TMT (Pty) Ltd and Vektronix are profiled, as is CZ Electronics Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd, one of the 26 companies awarded a contract for the manufacture of STBs.
The Broadcasting Industry and Manufacture of Decoders
The combined radio and television broadcasting sector employs some 13,200 people and generated revenue of R36.9bn in 2014. The sales value of radio, television and broadcasting equipment totalled R12bn in 2015, a figure that is expected to increase once the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration process, which will require at least 5 million set-top boxes (STBs), is fully underway.
Opportunities and Challenges
The increasing convergence between traditional TV and radio platforms and digital and internet-based technologies has created opportunities for broadcasters to reach new audiences and a number of new players have entered the market. Recent technological advances with regards to internet television have given rise to two further broadcasting models: Over the Top (OTT) TV services and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). Although the IPTV market is still small it has been identified as a potential area of expansion by Telecoms operators, Telkom and Vodacom. However, plans to expand in the internet TV segment have consistently been delayed by concerns regarding South Africa's broadband penetration and quality. Also of concern is the delay in migration from analogue to DTT which had an initial deadline of 2008. Industry stakeholders have attributed the lack of progress to a combination of regulatory ineffectiveness and a host of objections and legal disputes brought by broadcasters and the Department of Communications. Of particular importance are the disagreements regarding the inclusion of access control systems in the subsidised STBs.