The SABC wants to launch its own streaming service


In one of the wackiest developments of 2020, the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) plans to launch its own streaming service in 2021. It will, according to reports, be similar to other video-on-demand services in the industry like Netflix and DStv Now (now just DStv).

Earlier this week, the SABC revealed that it would like viewers of other services that broadcast in SA, regardless of platform, to pay TV licencing fees. Now the struggling public broadcaster has announced that it is planning its own version of a video-on-demand platform. According to News24, we don’t have a lot of details on the planned service yet, but apparently, it is planning something similar to the BBC iPlayer app in the UK.

Imagine streaming some 7de Laan on SABC

It’ll look similar to the SABC News app (which we still need to check out). But at this point, we don’t know more than that. We do know that this broadcaster focuses on locally produced content, but with Netflix investing a lot into local content across the globe, its spot as a local broadcaster may be in peril.

Using the planned streaming service, the broadcaster will be able to bundle some of its own content into free and paid packages. Most of it should be free, but itmay plan a more robust paid-for option that’ll include exclusive content, potentially. This paid-for content will be accessible by entering a valid TV-licence, for instance. But we’ll need to see how they make it work.

This was confirmed by an SABC spokesperson to News24. “At this stage, the SABC is not in a position to provide more detail, due to the commercial sensitivity of the information,” says Mmoni Seapolelo, the spokesperson.

This is an interesting development, and could mean well for many South Africans who don’t have TVs and rely on only smartphones to consume content as well as news. Let’s see how this unfolds come 2021.


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.


  1. navin ramchurran on

    this issue regarding payment of tv licenses to watch netflix or showmax is so ridiculous.
    this government looks for every way to squeeze money out of cash strapped south africans. they should go to all the townships and ask for tv licenses. there are so many shacks around durban that i have seen with satellite dishes. most of them dont buy televisions they have televisions that were previously stolen and they have either purchased it cheap or got them for free.
    so the government looks to exploit people who are already abiding by the law. we cannot even watch something good like netflix because this shit anc wants to make money of it so they can fund more corruption and stealing of money tired of this nonsense why dont they leave the streaming people alone and concentrate on showing good programming on sabc channels.

  2. Pingback: The SABC wants you to pay even if you don't own a TV » Stuff

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