R141 million per year for ANN7 “standard practice” – MultiChoice
MultiChoice has told MyBroadband that its R141-million-per-year contract to carry ANN7 is standard practice in the industry. Its comment comes after News24 reported that an email from the Gupta Leaks revealed the company signed a “fourth channel amendment agreement” in 2015 to carry ANN7 for R141 million per year. The deal was signed with Infinity Media Networks, the Gupta-controlled company which owned ANN7 at the time.
It also follows a previous channel agreement for ANN7 being exposed in the leaks, which saw MultiChoice paying R50 million per year. “While we understand that some people may not be aware of it, it is standard practice to pay for mainstream news channels – particularly for local 24-hour news channels,” MultiChoice told MyBroadband. “The fee structure for the ANN7 contract is in line with the costs of developing and running such a channel, and ANN7 is definitely not the highest-paid local news channel on the DStv platform.”
The latest Gupta Leaks report also revealed that MultiChoice paid Infinity Media Networks a once-off payment of R25 million.
News24 also reported that MultiChoice made direct submissions to the communication minister at the time, Faith Muthambi, regarding government policy. “The R25-million fee referred to in the article is also not unusual. In this case, it was a pro rata payment in terms of an amendment agreement,” said MultiChoice.
“Regarding our submission to Minister Muthambi: the Presidential Proclamation creating two new ministries didn’t make sense to a number of stakeholders in the broadcasting sector. Several of these stakeholders made submissions to the minister suggesting it be corrected. MultiChoice was one of these, and many of its proposals were rejected.”
“There is absolutely no relationship between our submission on the proclamation, the channel supply agreement for ANN7, and any fees or increase in fees paid for that channel.”