The government owned Zimpapers, the largest print media house in Zimbabwe, is preparing to launch a new TV network, Zimpapers Television Network. A promo posted on YouTube last week introduced what the network will be about – giving people what they want in TV content.
Talk of the launch of the station by the company has been going on for at least 2 years now. It’s not clear (to us at least) exactly when they got the license, but effectively, the government will now have 2 companies that both do TV – the ailing Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and now, Zimpapers.
In terms of where this TV station will show, it’ll likely be the terrestrial digital TV platform that the government has been working to launch for a number of years now. When it will be ready is getting less and less clear with time. Still Zimpapers called out for TV presenter auditions in December, so hopefully we’re close.
Video is not new to Zimpapers. The company already publishes video news via the internet (mostly YouTube), but it hasn’t had any traction with averages views per video below a thousand.
In terms of content, it looks like the regular TV programming with a heavy dose of local: cooking shows, sport, a local soap, comedy and coverage of local events (awards shows, Amai’s rallies etc…)
Zimbabweans are generally starved of good TV. ZBC has been a hopeless case for close to 2 decades now; Multichoice’s DStv is super expensive; Netflix needs an internet card payment which is getting really hard to do from Zimbabwe, plus needs a good internet connection (expensive); Kwese TV is still not available in Zimbabwe and even if it does come will likely be via the internet which means data cost too.
The market is open for Zimpapers to take a good share. The talk in town for the past two years has also suggested Supa Mandiwanzira is working to launch a TV station too.
Here’s the ZTN promo video:
We’ll be posting more about this stations as