The SABC partners up with Telkom to launch TelkomONE

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The SABC has partnered up with Telkom and they have officially launched TelkomONE. The radio network will generate revenue through Telkom’s new online streaming service through both a licensing fee and a revenue share agreement.

The CEO of SABC Madoda Mxakwe, who was commenting on the new TelkomONE streaming platform, said the partnership with Telkom helps them with their turnaround plan, which includes increased revenue generation and monetizing local content.

The SABC has been struggling financially and recently requested R1.5 billion in funding from the government to stay afloat. It is now looking at alternative revenue streams, which include expanding the definition of a television to collect TV licence fees from smartphone and tablet sales.

It also wants platforms like DStv to help it to collect TV licence fees which have been dwindling over the years. The partnership with Telkom is a more realistic way to generate additional revenue for the state broadcaster. The five-year deal with Telkom means the SABC will receive an annual licensing fee and a share in the revenue generated on the TelkomONE platform.

“It is a new revenue stream which is going to make us more sustainable, competitive, and relevant to consumers,” Mxakwe said. He added that, because of the commercial sensitivities around the deal, he could not divulge the exact details surrounding the finances. It is, however, not only about the money. Mxakwe said the partnership also serves their digital strategy to ensure the SABC’s content is available through various platforms. “The TelkomOne partnership is part of the SABC’s overall strategy of becoming a competitive multichannel and multiplatform public content provider,” he said.

It will further give talented local producers the opportunity to showcase their work on a platform on which content can live longer than on traditional media platforms. He said TelkomONE is a natural marriage between Telkom and the SABC, where Telkom brings the connectivity and screens and the SABC brings the content. A key differentiator for Telkom is that the SABC has a large amount of local content, which is the largest driver of audiences.

Maseko said TelkomONE will have access to a multitude of content from the SABC and other local content creators. “Working with the SABC, we will now start to commission fresh content that will be part of TelkomONE,” he said.

As part of this initiative, Telkom has launched a competition called “Open Up The Industry” to encourage young producers to generate new content and put it on TelkomONE.

Main Image: Bloemfontein Courant

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