ZBC’s new channels: Great for local content but DStv & OpenView have a sizable gap

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
BAZ, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, TV Licences, Radio Licences, Netflix, DStv, Digital TV ZBC channels

Last week we reported on the six new channels that were operational in the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) digital television migration. This, for whatever reason, was something the ZBC was oddly quiet about. One would assume that a landmark moment like this, which was long overdue, was something that the national broadcasting authority would shout about on every rooftop.

Well, in a report by The Chronicle, ZBC’s Head of Public Relations, Rumbie Moyo confirmed that the national broadcaster’s digital channels were indeed on the air.

“We recently launched six new channels of which three of them have started to air and these are ZBC TV, ZBC News and Jive TV. The channels are available on both Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) and Direct to Home (DTH).
On DTT, one requires either an indoor or outdoor antenna to receive the signal and a compatible set top box (STB)/Decoder. With the advent of Digital Tvs (DTV) which are coming with inbuilt receivers, one only requires an indoor/outdoor antenna to scan for the channels. On DTH, one requires a compatible decoder, satellite receiving set (dish, lnb etc) and point their antenna to Eutelsat 7B and scan for the channels,”

Rumbie Moyo, ZBC Public Realtions (via The Chronicle)

Moyo went on to give more information about the content of the channels.

  • JiveTV a channel that is 100% music and entertainment. 60% of the content will be local music, 25% will be African music and 15% will be international content.
  • Dandaro, is dedicated to religious and traditional broadcasting.
  • Shasha which caters to local and international dramas
  • Sports263, is purely for sports across all disciplines.
  • ZBC News, focuses on current events, business and tourism related programming
  • ZBC TV is the standard programming we all know and “love”

These channels are on top of the ones that gained licences including Yadah TV, ABJ TV, and Christ TV.

The new channels are great opportunity for content creators, but…

ZBC launching these new channels is good for Zimbabwe’s content creators. Channels like Jive and Shasha will give a platform for a new generation of entertainers and storytellers. We have, for a very long time, looked on in envy at our neighbours across the southern border as their entertainment industry grew over the decades with the creators behind it get attention from international streaming services.

Things on our side of the border haven’t been helped by the ZBC’s remuneration model. From a conversation I had with a local animator the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation doesn’t pay for content, nor does it help with production after the approval process.

You will have to get sponsorship and sell ads in and around your show for you to make money off your work. This means that you will have to use whatever you have at your disposal to complete a production. If this is still the case then the national broadcaster needs to address this, because YouTube and other platforms, as difficult as they are, might still be more viable than going to the ZBC.

The ZBC has already lost the fight to DStv and OpenView

DStv and OpenView are bar none the most dominant services in Zimbabwe when it comes to entertainment and it’s mainly because people are tired of the rinse and repeat programming that many have had to endure for years. ZBC is only now bringing its digital offering to the public when many had invested in decoders for the South African based services.

From what I have seen on social media there are very few people who want to go out and buy an antenna to watch ZBC’s Digital programming. Some comments I saw were asking if ZBC could put the channels on OpenView because making another investment into a ZBC specific setup dox was something that they aren’t prepared to do.

All of this isn’t to say that there is no appetite for local content, quite the contrary, people want to watch shows that are closer to home. The only problem is asking someone to make an investment on top of those they have already made because for decades we were left to our own devices.

And this is saying nothing about the advent of streaming which might be a “North of Samora” product but its impact is still pretty big…

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  1. Tendai Muchemwa

    Appetite for local content is there. So many quality local music videos are not getting spotlight and airplay they deserve on YouTube and Trace platforms. It might be tricky for legal reasons to add them to open view but that is a surefire way for these channels to gain popularity instantly

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    It’s the propaganda that people don’t want, otherwise we watch local content everyday from various media sources.

    1. Anonymous

      You’re spot on. There is no way I would leave Aljazeera News for ZBC

      1. Anonymous

        Wow! And you think that what? Al Jazeera is not propaganda?

        1. Pick Your Poison

          Al Jazeera has it’s “agenda”, but most things outside of that get reasonably fair coverage. Not to mention they have a great spectrum of non political and investigative news content. For a lot of people, the choice between the two is clear.

  3. Anonymous

    A 24hr news channel dedicated to ZanuPF propaganda.

  4. Anonymous

    Why not offer Ad slots to companies and in return get royalties, shares, profit shares from those companies.

  5. wokenman

    Still sloppy – so you have to point to a different satellite from the one that OpenView and DSTV use. Why couldn’t they just get hosted on the same satellite to make it easier for those that had DST and OpenView already. Also where are the receivers? At least ZBC can tell us where to get them. Could have partnered with any number of national retailers with a very wide footprint – even post offices. This is still a very half baked very amateur roll out to say the least.

    1. Anonymous

      The one that they choose has a better geographic reception and the transponders they do not have that much traffic where by you will get better quality pictures.

      1. Anonymous

        Kkkk iwe the last time i checked Eutelsat 20 was full and that Forced Kwese TV to be Positioned West to get Amos

        So izvo zve ZBC whether it lookes 90° East

        Or north

        At the end zvinhu zvavo zvikuda Marketing yaka simba

        Who cared that Kwese was Positioned to the west?

        Why didn’t we care because they were well organized 🤣🤣🤣

  6. Anonymous

    Hameno, ndezveikoko

  7. Chitondwe R

    Anxiously waiting to see how good these channels

  8. Bvongie Chibvongedze

    I havent watched ZTV in a while about 14 years but it used to be a good channel to watch but it went down from my rating a long time ago.
    If ZTV is setbox is using Euutelsat 7b thats the same as Kwese TV used to have and i scanned the satellite but i havent seen anything if its possible can you give use the transponder of the channels so that we can view them.
    By adding more channels when few and few people are watching ZTV i dont think thise channels will last but they should have programmes that will make people to watch their content.
    I last watched ZTV when Tiri parwendo was still on.

    1. Nhimba

      11350 H35000
      I’m watching the channels nw including ZTN

  9. Anonymous

    As long as it is broadcasting ZANU PF hatiuyeko, ZBC is full of Propaganda

  10. Vincent

    11356 H
    tp N3
    47 DVB-S2
    Zim Digital
    ZBC New
    ZBC TV
    ZBC TV
    ZBC News
    Jive TV
    Blackberry TV

    Source:lyngsat website

  11. Anonymous


  12. Chipo doro

    Zanu Broadcasting Corporation, wonai mega propaganda yenyu. You cant be criticized, noone is allowed to point out your mistakes ekuuraya nyika for 41 years. Even if you were paying people to watch hondo yeminda, mukombe uwoyo ngaundidarike

  13. Anonymous

    Zimbabwe has lost everything to South Africa, we can’t have time for listening to politics, open view decoder is giving us good content, apolitical content not this one in Zimbabwe is full of noise

  14. Anonymous

    Zimbabwe has lost everything to South Africa, we can’t have time for listening to politics, open view decoder is giving us good content, apolitical content not this one in Zimbabwe is full of noise. Free channels are best not seeing politicians even the national president wearing a political party clothes on public channels as if there are campaigning

  15. Anonymous

    I haven’t watched Ztv for the past 15yrs i don’t want propaganda viva open view

  16. Sagitarr

    As long as all this “content” will pass through a zanu filter there’s no doubt in my mind it will not be commercially successful or viable. This is an age where service/content feedback are so critical in deciding the fate of businesses. Because the content is agenda-driven, it will put off those who love to use their brains for thinking (not empty slogans), I guess the majority of the parasites in zanu will be happy with that.

  17. Perfect

    ZTv is the best guys kkkkkkk

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