JOHANNESBURG: Media regulator ICASA (the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) has warned newly launched satellite service Free2View that it is operating illegally and faces being shut down because it has not applied for a broadcasting licence.
The UK-based service, owned by Great Media, aims to bring advertising-supported satellite TV to South African viewers via a digital receiver and a satellite dish for a one-off fee of R1400 ($193; €130; £97).
It is defiant in the face of ICASA's threats and claims the watchdog has no jurisdiction because the signal is broadcast outside SA, from France.
Free2View says it intends to press ahead with the launch of six more channels during February.
ICASA spokesman Joel Sekgoela says the regulator may have to take "drastic action".
He insists: "The Communications Act prohibits broadcasting services without a licence. Any entity intending to provide a broadcasting service to be received within the borders of South Africa requires a licence."
Data sourced from Biz.com (South Africa); additional content by WARC staff