OUTA calls on MultiChoice to stop broadcasting ANN7
Recent media reports indicated that MultiChoice pays ANN7 at least R50 million to broadcast their news content to the DStv subscribers. MultiChoice has denied that it pays R150 million a year for the content.
“On behalf of thousands of concerned South Africans, we ask you to rethink your continued broadcasting of the ANN7 channel. Accordingly, we remind you of the plight suffered by Bell Pottinger, KPMG, SAP, McKinsey and others, who believed that hiding behind confidentiality and contractual clauses would suffice as reason to continue their unacceptable conduct,” said Wayne Duvenage, Chief Executive Officer at OUTA, in a letter to MultiChoice CEO Mark Rayner. “There is a growing demand for clarity on MultiChoice’s position on ANN7.”
The ANN7 news channel was allegedly initiated with taxpayers’ money and set up to support a political bias driven by the politically connected Gupta family.
“We are mindful of media freedom and freedom of speech and endorse it ourselves, but we sincerely ask that Multichoice do the right thing by heeding the call by civil society, for greater transparency and decisive action against entities linked to possible criminal activities and State Capture,” Duvenage added.
An OUTA supporter phoned the multichoice DStv support centre and asked for the ANN7 channel to be removed from their premium subscription account. The call centre agent said this couldn’t be done as the channel is included in all packages and cannot be removed. “People want the channel removed and they don’t want their subscription fees to fund it,” says Duvenage.
OUTA indicated that the channel is available on all subscription accounts, meaning that every subscriber contributes to ANN7, but those viewers who don’t want to fund the news network should have this option.
OUTA supporters called on the organisation to step in as they believe that ANN7 peddles “fake news” and pro-Zuma propaganda, with the channel openly attacking those who take umbrage on matters of state capture and corruption linked to President Zuma, his family and friends. The channel has openly been accused of supporting political and factional divisions with clear support for President Zuma whilst portraying those who stand against him in a negative light.
Read OUTA's open letter here.