For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa is tackled by Beauden Barrett of New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on September 21, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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If played correctly, DSTV could have effectively become South Africa's national broadcaster, rather than a yet another private subscriber channel looking desperately for significance in a fast-changing landscape, writes Howard Feldman.
DSTV blew it. The broadcaster had a unique marketing
opportunity that very rarely presents itself. And they missed it. They
certainly didn't "try".
The Rugby World Cup is currently taking place in Japan.
Although I am by no means a rugby fan, I am a South African fan which means
that I support our national teams. It means that I worry how we are doing and
watch the games that I am able to.
I am also a DSTV subscriber, which means that I am
privileged to be able to do so. Not everyone, however, is that fortunate.
The national broadcaster, the SABC is in financial turmoil,
which means that it is unable to afford to purchase the rights to broadcast the
games. The events that lead to the crises aside, this means that the majority
of South Africans do not have any access to the games. Considering that the SA
team has a real chance of brining home the cup, that since 1994 rugby has
assisted to unite a fractured nation and that the team has its first black
captain, it is almost inconceivable that this is the case. But it is, and the
SABC has made it clear that it is not in a financial position to be able to
purchase the rights.
DSTV however is able to do so and is airing the games to its
highest level of subscribers. This is where the opportunity for DSTV lies; whereas
I do not believe that it is under any obligation at all to open up the viewing
to all South Africans, the goodwill associated with it, and that would have
been heaped on them is more than any marketing campaign could buy. They would
unlikely lose regular subscribers, and would even, I imagine, be able to pass
on some of the costs to their advertisers as a result of the increased numbers.
More than that it would display the spirit of Ubuntu that
South Africans not only need, but also crave.
The private subscriber market is increasingly complicated
for the likes of DSTV. With Netflix becoming more and more popular, and Apple
TV a new interesting option, DSTV needs to find its relevance and place. And
with the Rugby World Cup, it could have achieved just that.
If played correctly, DSTV could have effectively become
South Africa's national broadcaster, rather than a yet another private
subscriber channel looking desperately for significance in a fast-changing
Sometimes a marketing strategy requires companies to be
brave. This move would have no doubt required courage. To date, what separates
the broadcaster from the other entertainment networks is its sports offering, which
means that opening it up to the public for the Rugby World Cup would seem to be
counter intuitive. But it wouldn't be. Instead, doing so would allow potential subscribers
to "see" what they are missing, it would create an emotional
attachment to the company and a very powerful sense of "We owe them one".
All these factors would only work in their favour.
A few months ago, Steve Hofmeyr offered to pay people to
break their DSTV decoders. This followed his exclusion from one of their
festivals. Whereas it is doubtful that many of his followers took up the challenge
and received cash, there have to be at least a handful of sheepish rugby fans
who are wondering if Steve will invite them over to watch the game. Even for
them, the gesture would be a cool one. If not a bit of an "in your face"
For certain it would not harm them.
Whereas staying on the path that they have chosen, might.
For DSTV it is not too late to reconsider. South Africa
might have lost the first game to the All Blacks but it is early days. As the
tournament progresses, and as the country's chances increase, so will the
frustration at not having access to the games. Instead of DSTV being viewed as
the "victor" of the broadcasting war rights, it will be seen as
selfish, elitist and even unpatriotic.
They need to act fast if they want to prevent this from
happening. Not doing so would be an "own goal" (to borrow a soccer
metaphor) if ever there was one.
- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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