At some point, most traditional media sources will need to port to digital platforms. Those who don’t, won’t live to see another year in business. That’s probably why the SABC has decided to finally port its content over to digital by planning the launch of a streaming service that’ll play host to most of its content.
This is in addition to its content being aired on the TelkomONE streaming platform (with ads, of course). It’ll be similar to the UK’s BBC iPlayer platform, and will host a variety of proudly South African content. But, up until now, we haven’t seen any indication of the service being developed.
Has the SABC Sentech recently?
A recent press release sent out by Sentech, an established public network services provider (mainly for TV- and radio-channels) revealed that it’s partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to establish local streaming services. One of which may turn out to be the SABC’s streaming service.
“Go Digital South Africa is in the process of taking South Africans to a new era of digital television that also brings more choice of television channels to ordinary people who view free-to-air television as provided by SABC, e-tv and M-Net,” the release reads.
Sentech already has a foothold within the SABC, being the “… signal distributor [that] provides broadcast transmission services to all SABC radio and television stations, commercial radio and TV stations, and over 130 community radio stations country-wide on a daily basis.”
Since Sentech is working to establish more local streaming services with the help of Amazon’s server environment, it’s possible a partnership will help produce an SABC platform in the near future. Not that the SABC wants to.
“Our organisation has already rolled-out the Digital Terrestrial Network to enable digital migration of services,” says Kopano Thage, Sentech’s acting chief marketing and sales officer. “We also intend to assist to expedite migration in collaboration with the stakeholders organised by government. The completion of the digital migration would enable the release of the spectrum that is needed to further the connectivity needs of our citizen.”
The public broadcaster has been exceptionally cagey with details regarding its streaming service, how it will work and how much it will potentially cost once it launches. Hopefully this partnership loosens a few tongues at South Africa’s national broadcaster.