S. African pubcaster ups fees

World Brief

Viewers will foot the bill for the South African Broadcasting Corp.’s investment in the latest digital technology with the first increase in annual license fees in five years.

The fee “has been at $30 a year since 1998,” said the pubcaster’s chief exec, Peter Matlare, “and the value of that fee has declined by 35%. Quite clearly, that is not sustainable.”

Matlare said the SABC would have to invest close to 1 billion rand ($136 million) over five years to improve its digital technology and would need an extra $203 million to keep upgrading news and program content.

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