Tribunal rules in favour of SABC on Multichoice deal

Caxton and 2 other groups demanded answers on what they saw as a merger between the two media houses.

SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Tribunal of South Africa has ruled in favor of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) following allegations by media groups that the public broadcaster gave up the rights to some of its archives in a 2013 business deal with MultiChoice.

The complaint was brought by Caxton, the Save Our SABC Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa, who demanded answers on what they saw as a merger between the two.

The tribunal found the groups failed to support their case.

It ruled that the agreement between the SABC and MultiChoice does not constitute a merger and that Caxton's argument to that effect was based on a leaked document that was in fact amended at least three times before the deal was struck.

The SABC's Kaizer Kganyago says the broadcaster is pleased with the ruling, calling claims that it sold its archives 'a malicious rumour'.

"We have always said that the agreement between MultiChoice and ourselves was just a commercial issue. It has nothing to do with what they are talking about."

But Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird is not happy with the tribunal's decision and wants to know the contents of the revised business deal.

"The revised agreement is confidential and we would like to know why that is."

Bird says the organisation is now considering appealing the judgment.