An article in the state owned daily The Herald today says the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has “hailed” the encryption of the South African SABC channels a few days ago, which made the channels inaccessible on free to air decoders. The report says ZBC is urging viewers to pay up their TV licences as this would enable ZBC to improve the programming.
The ZBC group CEO, Happison Muchechetere is quoted in the article:
Instead of buying a free-to-air decoder people should just pay up their radio and television licences so that they enjoy quality programming on ZBC-TV. You will be amazed that some of the programmes that they were watching on SABC are available on ZBC-TV.
Yes, we might not match Hollywood movies, but certainly we will be able to screen the best from the local scene. Remember when urban grooves (music) started we made sure we played the music and the genre has since grown and people appreciate it. This is exactly the route we are going to take within the local film industry.
ZBC and Multichoice, the only other TV alternatives locally (well, outside the internet for the few that can afford streaming) will likely register an increase in subscribers with the going away of the SABC channels which were prime entertainment for millions of homes in Zimbabwe and the region. Information from our readers yesterday was that some MultiChoice shops in Harare had throngs of people looking to subscribe to the DSTV service.
ZBC is the state-owned and only terrestrial broadcaster in Zimbabwe. The company has two TV stations; ZBC-TV and Channel 2. Channel 2 can only be received in an 80km radius outside of Harare and Bulawayo. For an idea of the content available on ZBC-TV, see this weekly programme line up, or download it here.