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Digital terrestrial TV: eTV granted leave to appeal

The case between eTV and Communications Ministry will now go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

eTV logo. Picture: eTV

JOHANNESBURG - Television company eTV has now been granted leave to appeal an earlier ruling allowing the Communications Ministry to implement unencrypted digital television in a decision that could delay the implementation of digital terrestrial television by up to a year.

Several months ago the high court in Pretoria ruled against eTV's application to overturn Communication Minister Faith Muthambi's decision.

In his decision granting leave to appeal his earlier ruling, Judge Bill Prinsloo says this is an issue of national importance that will affect the nation for some considerable time.

He also says that since this case started a section of the law on this issue has changed and no other judge has interpreted that section before.

As a result, he's decided this case can go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

eTV has said that if the unencrypted digital TV system is implemented, it will not be able to operate properly as it will be unable to protect the content it broadcasts.

The ANC has also criticised governments' decision saying it would only entrench the monopoly enjoyed by MultiChoice.