Tanzania

Tanzania to suspend Multichoice for defying order on free-to-air content

James Kilaba
Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority Director-General James Kilaba. FILE PHOTO |NMG 

Dar es Salaam

Tanzania telecommunications regulator intends to suspend licences issued to pay TV company Multichoice Tanzania Limited, for failing to comply with its orders on free-to-air content.

The Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) in a statement stated it has on several occasions required Multichoice to abide to the licence conditions not to include free-to-air television channels on its paid subscription service.

The regulator said Mutichoice Tanzania -- the local unit of South Africa's Naspers group -- continued carrying the channels as part of its services despite the order.

“Investigation carried out by TCRA affirms that Multichoice Tanzania Limited has not complied with the licence condition by including Free to Air Television channels as part of its services on subscription channels,” the statement said.

The regulator had on July 27 also announced its intention to suspend Star Media Tanzania (Startimes) broadcasting licences for charging free to air TV channels, which was against the licence requirements.

On Tuesday, TCRA said since Multichoice had breached the law by continuing to include Free to Air Television channels as part of its services on subscription channel, the authority would suspend its services.

“In exercising its powers, the authority hereby notifies the general public that it intends to suspend all the licences issued to Multichoice Tanzania Ltd for failure to comply with the authority’s orders and failure to adhere to the licence conditions including failure to exclude Free to Air Television channel from among its subscription channels,” it stated.

The regulator renewed Multichoice Tanzania's licence for provision of subscription content services by satellite on June 15, 2015.