SCA ruling on digital TV will lead to ‘greater diversity of channels’

eTV & Media Monitoring Africa are challenging Faith Muthambi’s decision on unencrypted TV set-top boxes.


JOHANNESBURG - As Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says she's noted the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)'s ruling about Digital Terrestrial Television, both eTV and Media Monitoring Africa say it will lead to a greater diversity of TV channels.

Judges yesterday ruled that Muthambi's decision to roll-out unencrypted television set-top boxes was irrational and wrong, and that she was confused about which policy she was actually implementing.

eTV and Media Monitoring Africa had gone to court challenging her decision.

Media Monitoring Africa's William bird says this is an important decision.

"It means that ordinary citizens should be able [have access to] a greater diversity of programming, both free and paid for content, using fewer boxes than more."

Muthambi has still not explained why she went ahead with this policy, even when the African National Congress (ANC) said it was wrong and ordered her to roll out set-top boxes with encryption.

MNet had supported the Communications Department saying eTVshould be forced to broadcast unencrypted signals.