MultiChoice in an open letter says that the satellite pay-TV platform can’t control ANN7 amidst growing calls for its removal from DStv. By Thinus Ferreira
An online petition was started in April and has now grown to over 12 500 signatures and comments calling for ANN7’s removal, with DStv subscribers saying they don’t want their money going to the Guptas. ANN7 is run by Infinity Media Networks, owned by the controversial Gupta family.
Following a scathing letter from advertising director Deon Wiggett published last week in Business Day, as well as support for a campaign to get ANN7 removed from DStv that was expressed at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Save SA’s Future of South Africa Conference, MultiChoice is responding with an open letter.
Nolo Letele, MultiChoice South Africa chairperson, says DStv subscribers who are not happy with ANN7 can complain to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA).
He says MultiChoice has “a legally binding agreement with ANN7, which we are legally obliged to abide by”.
“Deon Wiggett takes MultiChoice to task for carrying the ANN7 news channel on its satellite platform,” says Nolo Letele.
“He wants us to consider summarily removing the channel from the platform. Perhaps it will be useful to consider the following.
“DStv is a platform that relays many local and international news channels representing a wide spectrum of views (SABC News, eNCA, ANN7, Parliamentary Service, Business Day TV, CNN, Sky News, Russia Today, CCTV, Al Jazeera and others).
“We do not have editorial control over the content third-party providers place on their channels, nor do we endorse any particular points of view.
“At present we have a legally binding agreement with ANN7, which we are legally obliged to abide by.
“We are a responsible corporate citizen and where legal grounds arise that require us to terminate a content agreement, we will certainly do so.
“Customers who do not agree with the editorial content of any channel have the ability - quite independently of us – to reach out to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa. I hope this information is useful."