Multichoice opens up bidding for news channel

MultiChoice South Africa is calling on interested parties to register to bid for a 24-hour news channel to replace Gupta-linked news channel African News Network (ANN7), the media company said in a press statement released on Thursday.

This follows the company’s announcement that it will not be renewing ANN7’s contract come August 31 this year following public outcry over the veracity of the news aired on the channel.

Naspers-owned MultiChoice said on January 31 that it was looking for a black-owned media company to replace ANN7.

The news channel should “be a South African, predominantly English news channel that takes into account the history,diversity of cultural background, languages and socio-economic circumstance in South Africa”, the press statement stipulated.

MultiChoice explained the news channel should broadcast a daily 24-hour stream and provide anchor-based, live broadcasts in the style of Al Jazeera, CNN, Sky News, eNCA, SABC News and others with a specific focus on national, regional, local and African news, actuality, current affairs and sport with some focus on international affairs.

Amongst other criteria, the interested parties should ensure that the channel is black-owned, managed and operated, independent, non-partisan and unbiased. MultiChoice explained it would have no editorial control or ownership over the channel, but the selected party will receive funding from MultiChoice and other sources.

The call however, is only an invitation to register an intention to bid so MultiChoice can assess the level of interest and “a further, formal invitation to submit bids with details of the process and further guidelines will be shared mid February”, the statement read.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

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Thulebona Mhlanga
Guest Author
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