Radio signals interrupted by rolling blackouts

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Radio broadcasters spend over a million rand per month on diesel to run backup power generators, according to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

It says rolling blackouts adversely affect their signal distributions.

NAB emphasised that the cost implications of rolling blackouts for the broadcasting industry cannot easily be transferred to customers.

Deputy chairperson Nick Grubb has asked the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to consider relaxing advertising requirements and primetime schedules in light of the energy crisis.

Grubb says, “In the last couple of weeks, Sentech is already citing the potential for invoking force majeure as the reason for not delivering on their signal distributions to the individual member broadcasters due to load shedding and the unpredictability of that and then also the vandalism that they are subjected to…”

He adds: “Now while that may be understandable from a business point of view, the fact that every institution in South Africa is under strain, it is obviously an enormous and accusing and critical crisis impacting the broadcast industry because we face the very real possibility that radio and television broadcasters will go dark.”

Impact of rolling blackouts on SA Telco Sector: