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Ke Nako TV: Is this Zimbabwe’s first Internet TV license application

So, this is the first time we’ve actually seen an application by a local company for an internet TV license. The name of the company is Ke Nako Media. You will probably remember the company from their court battle for the magazine name “Parade” from yesteryear.

Here’s a newspaper cutout of the notice of their Application for a Broadcasting Service License that they made to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. The notice was published in the Herald daily newspaper today:

What’s been the norm so far with many internet TV companies – or just general publications that also create and post video content to their websites – is that they just do it. Examples include Zimbo Jam TV, Nafuna TV, and more recently TVYangu, amoung many others.

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You will notice they are applying for a ‘Webcasting’ license and that their license area is Zimbabwe (Internet).

We contacted Ke Nako Media chairman, Peter Gwaza, and he told us that to operate a broadcasting service, even one that broadcasts on the internet only, requires a license. “Its a requirement of the law. Even though many are broadcasting online, they are doing it illegally. As an operator in the country we abide by the rules of the country,” explained Gwaza.

He cited Statutory Instrument 69 of 2011 as the piece of legislation stipulating this. Unfortunately, we couldn’t locate it on the BAZ website so we have had to look for a copy offline which we will download here later. Please check back. We contacted BAZ but they hadn’t come back to us  by the time we published this article.

As for why they are making this deliberate move and why they are doing it now, Gwaza had this to say:

As you know most of people are always logged in on the internet either via mobile devices or even the TV and we think technology is growing. Internet is the way to go. You can just take a survey of people who are on facebook and that alone justifies doing it at this moment.

We’d love to know what your views are on this, and if you have more information, please just comment below or send us an email on news@techzim.co.zw.


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16 thoughts on “Ke Nako TV: Is this Zimbabwe’s first Internet TV license application

  1. aren’t zimbojam and all those not actually broadcasting, but uploading pre-recorded content for users to watch at there leisure? so surely thats not legal, because that means any zimbo with a website that puts youtube video’s on it is breaking the law?

    my understanding is that “broadcasting” implies some kind of live “as it happens” system like normal TV really

    1. I have never looked at ‘broadcasting’ that way. for me just means making it available to people to watch or listen,live or not.
      Wouldn’t it be the case then that even with terrestrial broadcasting companies could set-up and broadcast willy nilly (well, acquire frequencies first on the open market) as long as they did pre-recorded shows only?

      1. “that way. for me just means making it available to people to watch or listen,live or not. ”

        This could be so only if the broadcast has a programme schedule. There is a big difference between Broadcast & VOD (Video on Demand). ZimboJam, NafuTV & them are all VOD type ‘Channels’. Just like YouTube in a way. So you can’t say they’re operating illegally. It’s also noted on the license type that it’s ‘Webcasting’.

        I’m sure the reason why they’re even applying for this type of license is so they can host the Webcast Server in Zim (Country of Origin – the live feed). If you want to start an online channel it’s possible in other territories like South Africa who haven’t regulated online broadcast other than online streaming of copyright music content. You can host the broadcast playlist and server in SA and target zim and you would not need a license to operate the channel.

        I’ve setup channels for other companies doing the same to operate an online TV channel without the need for a broadcast license in the target country. planetradiotv.tv alternatv.tv televarsity.tv

        1. This could be so only if the broadcast has a programme schedule. There is a big difference between Broadcast & VOD (Video on Demand)..

          So, then Live Youtube is broadcast http://www.youtube.com/live/all

          interesting on the Wecast server being located here to qualify for needing a license. What about a local Cache then? But I guess that wouldn’t be live?

          I know for a fact that TvYangu are planning or already have a Programme Schedule, and they did confirm to me that they consider themselves a channel, just on the internet.
          They’d need to just host it outside Zimbabwe to solve the problem? and maybe avoid live ‘streaming’?

          just curious

          1. You can still have live streaming like youtube and TvTangu as you mentioned but the server of origin has to be offshore (out of zim). Different territories have different laws regarding broadcasting/webcasting. A local cache is just an extension of the main server of origin which will be based outside Zim. Youtube’s webcast servers are all not located in Zim even though you can use the service in Zim. Skype/VoIP/POTRAZ… Something along those lines. Just to put this in context.

            1. so why bother license something that can be so easily circumvented by just locating server outside Zim? Or one can even just do two servers setups; serve all video from local server to save on bandwidth but just prove to authorities that the local one is serving cached videos original retrieved from an external server.
              then does the local one have a maximum cache period, or you can keep serving a ‘cached’ video for 5 years+ as long as you can prove it was originally retrieved from an external server?
              is there a way you can do a 10 second lag on ‘live’ video too just to prove its not exactly live because it’s being served from outside, cached locally for seconds and immediately served?

        1. according to @disqus_5F380DN7CV:disqus above Live YouTube would likely be broadcast, but that they wouldn’t be breaking the if they didn’t host the streaming server in Zimbabwe?

          I really don’t know what is fact until I read through the Statutory Instrument that has the legal position. Unfortunately, we havent received it yet. Government says it ran out of prints and to come after a week.

          1. You are right. YouTube is not breaking the law. They’re streaming servers are not located in Zimbabwe therefore them requiring a license will not apply to them.

      2. So, doesn’t that also mean this site be registered as a Newspaper at the GPO in Zim? Because you are providing news services to Zimbabweans -_-

  2. This is stupid and uninformed. Video on demand is a different situation all together. If it breaks the law to upload a video onto youtube, then i suggest that these guys sue Google and everyone who has ever uploaded videos with zimbabwean content onto youtube. This would inclue tons of government fascilities like tel one and such.

    How are guys creating content on youtube “illegal”?

    Once again…. this is stupid.

      1. local hosting wouldnt have the problems of international fibre link contention/capacity/reliability – also means cheaper bandwidth for the company providing the streaming to get there servers as close as possible

        its likely that the bandwidth cost savings outweigh the cost of a local license

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