Multichoice has announced that it has instructed its audit and risk committees to investigate the broadcasting company’s deal with ANN7.
“The board is aware that the ANN7 channel has caused real public concern because of the allegations of corruption levelled at the former owners of the channel. These allegations have negatively impacted the reputation of Multichoice,” it said in a statement on Friday.
The Multichoice board has therefore instructed its audit and risk committees to:
- Assess whether there has been any corporate governance failures at Multichoice and report back to the board. Based on what is contained in that report, the Multichoice board will take the necessary action;
- Assess whether the total amount paid to ANN7 is comparable to payments made for other locally-produced channels with due consideration being given to the estimated costs of running a 24-hour news channel;
- Draw on any expertise and skills necessary in order to fulfil the mandate given by the board.
“In addition, Advocate Moroka, one of the Multichoice board members, was requested by the board and has agreed to, assist the audit and risk committees in this matter,” Multichoice said.
The investigation follows public outcry after the revelation that Multichoice is paying at least R50 million per year to broadcast ANN7.
A contract between Multichoice and Applewood Trading 206 for ANN7 was revealed in the Gupta Leaks.
The “Third Channel Amendment Agreement” between Multichoice and Infinity Media Networks, dated 9 June 2014, also emerged in the leaks.
The agreement was amended to increase the annual fee for ANN7 from R50 million per year to R150 million. Multichoice would also not have the right to cancel ANN7 should it not perform well.
Multichoice said “the draft contract published was not signed” and it was not part of the leaked email exchange. The company did not reveal how much it pays for ANN7, but confirmed it has a contract with the channel.