THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Sunday, November 19, 2017

MultiChoice to drop Guptas' controversial ANN7 channel from DStv in June 2018 according to reports; says it's not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.


With Sunday newspaper reports saying that MultiChoice plans to drop the controversial ANN7 (DStv 405) channel from its DStv bouquet in June 2018 when the existing contract expires, MultiChoice on Sunday told TVwithThinus that MultiChoice has not been approached by ANN7 for renewal of the contract and that MultiChoice is not in possible renewal negotiations.

On Sunday the Afrikaans Rapport newspaper reported that the biased so-called "news" channel, slammed for driving racial division in South Africa and known for its ongoing litany of on-air blunders and mistakes, will disappear from DStv during June when the current contract between MultiChoice and ANN7 expires.

Afrotone Media Holdings is now the new holding company for ANN7 and The New Age with Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi as executive chairman.

So far more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have signed an online petition at petitions24.com .

The thousands of angry people are demanding, and explaining why, they want MultiChoice to get rid of ANN7.

DStv subscribers are saying that they don't want to be forced to pay for a channel where money is paid by MultiChoice to the highly controversial Gupta family whose involvement with South African State Capture has been exposed, and that is damaging South Africa with biased so-called "news".

In the past week The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) also asked MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner in an open letter to get rid of ANN7 and to come clean about MultiChoice's dealings with ANN7.

Further leaked emails from the Gupta leaks two weeks ago have shed further light on the insider contract negotiations and dealings between MultiChoice and ANN7, with MultiChoice paying hundreds of millions of rand of DStv subscribers' money to ANN7 for the channel to provide its distorted so-called "news" coverage.

On Sunday Rapport said that MultiChoice will dump ANN7, primarily due to the ongoing brand damage ANN7 is inflicting on the DStv brand by proxy.

According to the report MultiChoice has not Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi, nor has he made any effort yet to get in touch with MultiChoice.

ANN7 that has been used for personal on-air vendettas against politicians not aligned with the tarnished president Jacob Zuma, has also been a bottom-feeder in terms of TV news channel ratings on DStv.

MultiChoice in a quick response to a media enquiry on Sunday morning told TVwithThinus that it is not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.

"We have a legally binding channel carriage contract for the ANN7 channel."

"We cannot comment on the terms of the contract (including the duration of the agreement) as it is subject to confidentiality clauses."

"We have not been approached by the owners of ANN7 for the renewal of the contract and we are not in negotiations for the renewal of that contract. Timelines for negotiations for the renewal of contracts vary from contract to contract and are dictated by different situations and circumstances."

"We are furthermore unable to cancel a contract prior to its expiry unless there is a clear breach of that contract."

"As we have stated previously, DStv is a platform that relays many local and international news channels, representing a wide spectrum of views - for instance SABC News, eNCA, ANN7, CNN, Sky News and many others."

"We don't have editorial control or any involvement in running the operations of any of these news channels, including ANN7."