All eyes from all over the world will be on our boys tomorrow as they take on Egypt in Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament. Sadly, it’s looks like those fans that were hoping to see the match on ZBC will miss it. In fact, there is a highly likelihood that they will not watch the while Afcon tourney on ZBC.
The disappointing news was revealed this morning by ZBC Chief executive, Mr Patrick Mavhura during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting services session. He disclosed that the state television needs €700 000 ($790 000) to be able to broadcast the tournament. Its the eve of the start of Afcon, will it get that $790 K by the end of today?
If it doesn’t, that will be a huge blow to many of us who were hoping to watch the tournament on ZBC because DStv, which can only be paid using US dollars, is now unaffordable to the average Zimbabwean. Most likely many people are gonna head to betting houses, local beerhalls and all those establiments that pay for DStv to entertain people so that they can watch the tournament.
It’s hardly surprising though to hear ZBC failing to pay for the rights when its failing to pay royalties that have been outstanding for many years. This, in turn, has discouraged artists from making new content for the hard-pressed state broadcaster. Couple that with falling license fees revenue that have prompted it to partner Harare City Council. It’s turning into a death spiral for ZBC unless it’s bailed out and reorganize or sold to private investors.