The Competition Appeal Court has ruled that MultiChoice must reinstate four eMedia channels on the DStv platform after cutting them at the beginning of June.
This comes after the Competition Tribunal initially ruled in favour of MultiChoice, saying that eMedia’s complaint does not meet the requirements for exclusionary conduct.
eMedia complained to the Competition Commission after MultiChoice refused to renew its channel supply agreement for E-tv Extra, eToonz, eMovies, and eMovies Extra.
DStv still offers E-tv and eNCA but declined to renew the other four channels.
According to eMedia, MultiChoice’s decision amounted to a dominant player refusing to supply a scarce service.
The company said it would lose as much as 19% of its advertising revenue should the channels be suspended.
MultiChoice disputed this argument, saying that E-tv can broadcast the channels online, on South Africa’s digital terrestrial television platform, and eMedia’s own satellite platform Openview.
The pay-TV broadcaster said it cut eMedia’s channels to make space for new ones.
MultiChoice said DStv only has space for 11 channels in the next five years — four channels on IS–20 and ten on IS–36. And that’s after it cut eMedia’s four channels.
After the Competition Tribunal ruled against eMedia, it took the matter to the Competition Appeal Court.
The Competition Court has ruled that MultiChoice must reinstate eMedia’s channels while the Competition Commission conducts an investigation.