Zimbabwe on Friday awarded free-to-air television licenses to six companies as part of government efforts to bring more players into the broadcasting sector that is currently dominated by the state broadcaster.
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) chairman Charles Sibanda said among those awarded licenses was Zimpapers Television Network owned by the state-run diversified media group Zimbabwe Newspapers and Rusununguko Media that would operate as NRTV. Rusununguko is said to be owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Others are Jester Media that would operate as 3K TV, Acacia Media Group trading as Kumba TV, Fairtalk Communications trading as Ke Yona TV and Channel Dzimbahwe trading as Channel D.
“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to advise the public that the process of licencing new television services has been completed,” Sibanda said in a statement.
He revealed that the six were selected from a total of 14 companies that had applied for licences.
The new licensees are expected to go on air within the next 18 months or risk losing their licenses.
“In the event of failure to broadcast, the licences will be availed to other aspirants through a similar process,” Sibanda said.
The latest development is expected to break the monopoly currently enjoyed by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which presently operates the only television station in the country.
Most Zimbabweans rely on satellite television network DSTV as an alternative source of entertainment.