SABC opens bids for internet streaming platform

The SABC has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from suppliers as it prepares to launch an internet streaming service that is likely to be a key part of its future strategy.

The detailed 73-page RFP, published earlier this week, comes a year after the public broadcaster sent out a request for information, or RFI, to learn more about what’s available on the market and what it could be. can do with the latest streaming technologies.

The RFP requires bidders to submit their documents to the SABC by 12 noon on January 18. Bidders must also attend a mandatory online briefing session on December 8.

The document provides tremendous insight into the SABC’s streaming plans, both for video (television) and audio (radio) content it produces. The broadcaster wants a streaming app and website that offers, among other things:

  • live streaming
  • A catch-up service
  • Video on demand
  • Audio on demand
  • Pop-up channels
  • Multiple user profiles
  • Log in once
  • Viewing content offline
  • Digital Marketing Tools & Digital Advertising
  • An electronic program guide
  • Subtitles
  • Personal network video recorder functionality with record, rewind, pause and fast forward

On the back end, the broadcaster wants a solution that will allow it to deliver streaming feeds to multiple destinations, including websites, apps, social media and third-party streams.

The backend solution should include digital rights management, content management, e-commerce (including a payment gateway), security and a content delivery network. It usually needs to be hosted in the cloud and made available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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The public broadcaster wants to become the owner of the so-called “over-the-top” or OTT platform. So far, it has used third-party platforms such as YouTube to distribute its content, but it has little or no control over it.

“These platforms are restrictive and do not allow SABC to be competitive enough. The SABC cannot monetize content of its full marketing value,” the RFP said.

The issuance of the RFP comes as the SABC is still embroiled in a dispute with Sentech, which broadcasts its television and radio channels over old terrestrial broadcasts.

In May, the SABC wrote to both the Competition Commission and communications regulator Icasa about what it called Sentech’s “unfair and anti-competitive pricing” and urged both regulators to investigate.

While the SABC will continue to broadcast on terrestrial networks for the foreseeable future, it is highly likely that more and more of the viewership will switch to consuming its content over the Internet in the coming years, making it critical that it is delivered properly. technology chooses platform. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media

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