n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Tying, bundling or packaging of pay television channels : who benefits - the consumer, service provider or programme content provider?




In South Africa, pay television has been dominated by one broadcaster until the recent launch of TopTV. Thus, competition in this market sector was non-existent. Currently, television channels are sold as a bundle or package from which subscribers can choose. However, subscribers cannot choose any other channels except for the bundles or packages available. Currently consumers face the addition of new television channels to their bundles or packages which affect their subscription fees. Further, new television channels are being added to existing bundles regardless of whether subscribers want those channels or not. Therefore, consumers are deprived of their right of choice and the benefits of free and fair competition. Therefore the availability of a pay-per-channel subscription model and the ability to select channels of choice are important in order to address issues of costs, quality programming, offensive programmes and the addition of new television channels.


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