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Icasa denies claim SABC wants to drop prime-time news

Icasa says the SABC has made submissions, but that they were different to those from eTV.

FILE: Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa). Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) says reports that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has joined eTV in requesting more leniency on broadcast time for primetime news are false.

The communications authority says the SABC has made submissions, however they were different to those from eTV.

Earlier this year, eTV approached the regulator to relax the conditions of its licence and allow the station to freely broadcast its prime-time news at any time between 5am and 10pm.

Icasa says eTV claims it’s no longer financially viable to broadcast news during prime time.

Icasa's Paseka Maleka says the SABC has opposed this application, asking for a delay until the digital terrestrial television process is completed.

“SABC said this will give an advantage to eTV to schedule other programmes. They’d rather wait until the digital terrestrial television (DTT) process has been completed because at the moment we’re in the dual elimination period for DTT.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)