After the completion of digital migration, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) will introduce a range of new channels. The channels will bring variety to ZBC’s dwindled viewers after years of just watching one channel, ZTV. Poor programming and poor coverage of ZTV swayed many urban Zimbabweans to stop watching the channel and migrating to watching DSTV and now Kwese.
Despite this, rural areas are still ZBC’s stronghold as they still rely on it for news and entertainment. This is largely due to the fact that rural areas residents cannot afford DSTV and Kwese.
The channels will range from history channel to religious channel to a security channel. Speaking in Beitbridge, ZBC CEO Patrick Mavhura announced;
We will increase our channels and hope to have a security services television channel, wildlife, history of our country and Africa among other channels……. We will have a full spectrum channel to carry a variety of content and then news and current affairs, sports, music, tourism and nature channels initially.
The announcement follows another announcement that was made in 2015 which also promised the introduction of new channels in less than four months of that year. Patrick Mavhura is now back with the rhetoric this year, although this time he didn’t give a deadline as to when they will introduce the channels. Given government’s struggle to secure the full funding for completing its digital migration, the channels could take a further 5 years at least before they grace our screens. To watch the proposed channels, viewers will likely to pay subscription fees as once noted by ZBC’s CEO.
As part of the digital migration project, the proposed channels would be broadcasted in HD (High Definition) rather than the backward SD (Standard Definition). However, even if the channels come in HD, their content will be it’s point of failure because DSTV and Kwese will bring superior content compared to ZBC. DSTV and Kwese ability to bring quality content is attributable to their immense financial resources which ZBC lacks.