Broadcasting Services

Zimbabwe: Broadcaster Seeking To Supply More Channels With Digital Terrestrial License

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), a state-controlled broadcaster in Zimbabwe, has applied for the National Commercial Digital Terrestrial (NCDT) license in order to supply more channels. Critics have unwelcomed this request as unfair due to private stations being allocated limited terrestrial space. The reviewers also believe that to create diversity in the media and broadcasting space, spectrum allocation should prioritise independent stations.

In contrast, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana, has commended the state-owned broadcaster for this move, stating that the issuance of the licence will end the current one television channel position.  According to Mangwana, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's application will ensure that ZBC runs other channels on their reserved capacity, ending the era of "One Television Channel" for good.

In retrospect, in 2020, the Zimbabwean government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa's leadership awarded new television licences, progressing to the end of decades of having one state-controlled tv channel.

If you recall, BMA recently reported that the Minister of Information, Monica Mutsvangwa, had announced plans to issue more television and radio licences to independent stations. During a speech at a media function, the minister said the government had committed to promoting diversity in the media space. Therefore, it would award more broadcasting licenses to demonstrate its pledge.  

However, critics have rejected the announcement, saying it is a ploy by the government to continue monopolising TV channels. Critics believe that the applicants for the independent stations are linked to the government.

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